Texas SBOE: The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly

Let’s get right to the Good news. With all precincts reporting, Thomas Ratliff has 56,207 votes and Don McLeroy (the creationist dentist) has only 55,368. It looks like a done deal.

The Houston Chronicle reports Social conservatives could lose grip on board. You may reach your own conclusions when they say:

McLeroy served as chairman of the board until Senate Democrats blocked his confirmation last year on grounds that his strong religious beliefs interfered with his leadership. McLeroy, a Bryan dentist, calls himself “a young Earth creationist” who believes that people co-existed with dinosaurs on the planet less than 10,000 years ago.

McLeroy is a leader among the seven social conservatives on the 15-member board.

The Texas Tribune carries this story: SBOE 9: McLeroy Loses Seat to Ratliff, which informs us:

With all precincts reporting, State Board of Education incumbent Don McLeroy has lost to challenger Thomas Ratliff in the race for District 9 by a razor thin margin — less than 1,000 votes.


McLeroy acknowledged early in the night that his odds weren’t great. “I think I lost,” he said. “These things don’t swing 2,000 votes.”

We think so too. Okay, that was the Good. Now for the Bad. Well, it’s Bad today, but there may be some hope.

With all precincts reporting in District 5, Ken Mercer — we call him “Dog-Cat Mercer” because he dismisses evolution by saying: “Have you ever seen a dog-cat, or a cat-rat?” — has soundly defeated Tim Tuggey by 75,369 to 33,649.

The hopeful part of this Bad news is that Mercer will have to run against Rebecca Bell-Metereau in the general election. Rebecca crushed all of her opponents in the democrat primary. (Yea, Rebecca!)

Also Bad — or at least badly muddled — is the situation in District 10 regarding the seat of retiring creationist Cynthia Dunbar. Dunbar had endorsed Brian Russell, so we consider him to be Dunbar’s intellectual clone — not a compliment. Russel got 36,996 votes, and our pick, Rebecca Osborne, got only 30,561. However, Marsha Farney — whom we hadn’t really noticed — beat them both with 37,199. We don’t know if Farney won the primary or if there will be a runoff. Anyway, that one is far from decided because the GOP winner will be running against Judy Jennings in the general election.

There’s more Bad. Geraldine Miller, one of the sane Republicans on the SBOE (along with Patricia Hardy and Bob Craig), was unexpectedly defeated by George Clayton, about whom we have doubts. There’s no Democrat running in the general election for this seat, so Clayton’s got it. Our concern is that this will balance out the defeat of McLeroy. Time will tell.

And now for The Ugly — very Ugly. Don McLeroy’s term doesn’t expire until after the general elections in November. So the creationist dentist is going to be around for a while longer. Aren’t you glad?

Copyright © 2010. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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10 responses to “Texas SBOE: The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly

  1. Curmudgeon: “So the creationist dentist is going to be around for a while longer.”

    As I said before, if anything, he’ll have more time after leaving office to peddle his propaganda. And no shortage of activist groups willing to give him a forum. Although I think the DI is one that wishes he would shut up and stop undermining their “ID is not creationism” meme.

  2. McLeroy is now free to pursue the leadership of the “Army of God,” a career move entirely suitable for his reputation.

    See: http://www.repentamarillo.com/

  3. Here’s some numbers:

    If he was a Democrat, they’d steal the election. A very minor + for him.

  4. Good update. I plugged your article on PT…then they added a post addressing the race. So your plug now sits in the wrong thread. D’oh!

  5. I’m hoping that people who voted for Tuggey because they wanted a moderate on the board will now realize that I am a moderate who will work to bring the focus away from far right-wing ideology and back to educating the children of Texas. It’s a long road to the November general election but I’m willing to work hard.

  6. Hi, Rebecca. Congratulations! (Daniel Boone had me worried for a while.) We’re going to be pulling for you in November. Too bad you won’t have the opportunity of working with Don McLeroy, but you can’t have everything.

  7. Hello,
    I wanted to let your viewers know that there is an alternative in voting for George Clayton in District 12 for the SBoE and that is the Libertarian candidate Amie Parsons. She is all about Reason and critical thinking when living her life. She lets science help guide her when understanding the world around her. If selected to the SBoE she will be the first one to point out that the SBoE is not a religious institution but one of Education and Standards. Just thought the viewers would like to know that there is an alternative for those that are worried Clayton may be a creationist.

  8. Somewhat good news about Farney from a question asked on her Facebook wall. The response could be better, but it is encouraging:

    Q: What are your thoughts about the theory
    of evolution in a science textbook?

    What are your thoughts about the belief
    in Intelligent Design being included in a science textbook?

    A: R—–, the theory of evolution is already approved to be a part of our science curriculum. I favor teaching it as the prevalent theory and encouraging students to investigate and evaluate this and all theories including global warming. Personally, my faith is not shaken by the theory of evolution. (emphasis added).

    So Farney does seem to truly indeed be the common sense conservative she advertises herself to be, or at least tries to be.

  9. RWA says: “Somewhat good news about Farney …”

    Not all that great. Teaching “all theories” is typical McLeroy stuff. It’s code for creationism.