As you know, all 15 seats on the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) are up for election this year, and the primary election is set for 29 May. We’ve previously discussed the race for District 5, where creationist incumbent Ken “Dog-Cat” Mercer is being challenged, and District 10, where three GOP candidates are contending for an open seat (see Texas State Board of Education Races for 2012), and for District 8, where the incumbent chairman, creationist Barbara Cargill is being challenged (see Cargill v. Ellis).
Most recently we posted about District 15, an open seat currently held by Bob Craig, one of the sane Republicans on the SBOE. That post was Carlisle v. Rowley. Today we’ll consider a few more races.
Two influential incumbents on the State Board of Education — who are often at odds with each other — are both facing primary challenges that could result in a power shift on the fractious board.
That’s what we like — drama. Who are those two incumbents? The Tribune says:
Thomas Ratliff won a spot on the board after a 402-vote victory in the 2010 GOP primary over Don McLeroy, who brought international attention to the state with his spirited defense of creationism.
Whoa! That’s important. The Discoveroids were furious over the loss of McLeroy, the creationist dentist (see Discovery Institute Weeps for Don McLeroy). Let’s read on:
He [Ratliff] has also been a thorn in the side of David Bradley, widely considered the ringleader of the strictly allied social conservatives who led the board to adopt science standards that required educators to teach “all sides” of evolution in 2009 and pushed for ideologically driven revisions to social studies standards in 2010.
Right. Bradley is another creationist on the SBOE. We continue:
Now they both find themselves entangled in what are likely the board’s two most closely watched primary races.
Neat. A good guy (Ratliff) and a creationist (Bradley) are both being challenged in the primaries. Here’s more:
Bradley has his first serious primary opponent since he was elected to the District 7 seat. Rita Ashley, a former teacher and clerk for the Texas House’s Public Education Committee, has raised more than $30,000 in her bid to unseat him. Ashley has attracted the endorsements of the Association of Texas Professional Educators, the Texas Classroom Teachers Association and the Texas Parent PAC.
That’s good enough for us. We favor Ashley over Bradley in District 7. Moving along:
The conservative establishment has lined up behind Ratliff’s District 9 opponent, Randy Stevenson, who has the backing of the Young Conservatives of Texas, the Texas Alliance for Life, the Texas Home School Coalition and several Republican county chairs in the district. Stevenson, a Tyler businessman, served on the board from 1994 to 1999.
That’s another easy decision for us. Ratliff is our choice in District 9.
Then they mention another race, this one is in District 12, where the incumbent is George Clayton. He recently won that seat by defeating Geraldine Miller, who had been one of the sane members of the SBOE. The creationists rejoiced over Miller’s defeat. Now Miller is trying to win her old seat back. Besides creationism and the other “social conservative” issues, there’s another interesting dimension to that race. The Tribune says:
The outcome of the race may also depend on how GOP voters react to Clayton’s sexual orientation. The former English teacher and Dallas ISD administrator, who is gay, disclosed his sexuality in an email to members of the media in November after he learned it had become the topic of conversation at a Republican women’s club.
Clayton’s personal life doesn’t interest us, but his creationism does. We favor Miller in District 12.
There’s lots more information in the Texas Tribune, mostly about who is contributing to whom. Click over there and read it if the details interest you. All we can say at this point is that the 29 May primary election is going to be important, so stay tuned to this blog.
Copyright © 2012. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.