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An Arizona teacher protest that claims to be “bipartisan” is being led by a man who has in the past year worked with election organizations launched by Democratic operatives following the 2016 election and was hired in 2017 to manage a Democrat’s campaign.

Last week, questions arose regarding the background of Noah Karvelis, a teacher who has represented the highly visible #RedforEd protest for increased teacher salaries, after Arizona governor Doug Ducey, a Republican, called Karvelis a political operative and elected to exclude him from discussions on education spending.

“What I don’t want to do is get into these political operatives’ political circus,” Ducey said, raising questions regarding the political motives of Karvelis’s group, which labels itself as nonpartisan. Ducey declared that he would work with “decision makers” and separate out “political activists.”

Although the Democratic Governors Association criticized Ducey for mislabeling the “organic, bipartisan movement” as a “political movement,” the association declined to mention Karvelis’ connections to Democratic groups.

According to Arizona campaign finance records, Karvelis holds a second job working as campaign manager for local Democrat Kathy Hoffman, a position for which he was paid $3,000 last cycle.

The Washington Free Beacon reported that Karvelis became associated with Hoffman through work he was doing for a group called Run for Something, which was founded by Amanda Litman, a Democratic campaign veteran who was most recently email director for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential bid.

Karvelis was a “candidate concierge” for Run for Something, whose mission is to “build a Democratic bench for the future” by supplying resources for down-ballot progressives.

Last year, Karvelis also began working as an organizer for Knock Every Door, a group established in January 2017 by associates of the Bernie Sanders campaign and led by the woman who ran Sanders’ national field operation.

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