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?
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