2014 Elections: Three Contested Primaries in Texas SBOE Elections

The deadline for filing to run for state office in Texas in 2014 was last Friday. Six of seven incumbents are seeking re-election to the Texas State Board of Education, and two of them face opposition in their party primaries. A third contested primary is for a seat in which the incumbent is not seeking re-election. All of the seats will be contested on the November general election ballot.

Next year’s adoption of social studies textbooks should be done by the time new board members are seated in 2015. But those new members will help revise the state’s health curriculum standards — including standards dealing with sex education. The adoption of the revised health curriculum standards is scheduled for April 2017 with the health textbook adoption set for November 2018. The schedule also calls for adopting new science curriculum standards in 2017 and new social studies standards in 2018, but it’s unclear whether the board will do that so soon after textbook adoptions for those two disciplines.

Below is information about candidates for the 2014 SBOE elections. We have provided links to campaign websites or Facebook pages if we were able to find them. Candidates may send or update their website information to tfninsider@tfn.org.

District 7

District 7 incumbent David Bradly, R-Beaumont Buna, faces Rita Ashley of Beaumont in a rematch of their 2012 Republican primary. Bradley, first elected to the board in 1996, has been a leader of the SBOE’s far-right faction. He rejects evolution, opposes sex education and claims that the Constitution doesn’t protect separation of church and state. Ashley is a former schoolteacher and worked as the clerk of the Texas House Public Education Committee during the 2011 legislative session.

The District 7 GOP nominee will face Democrat Kathy J. King and Libertarian Megan DeGata in the general election.

District 11

District 11 incumbent Pat Hardy, R-Fort Worth, faces two challengers in her Republican primary. Eric Mahroum and Lady Theresa Thombs, both also from Fort Worth. Thombs’ campaign website doesn’t appear to be loading today, but here is her Facebook page. Hardy, an educator in the Weatherford Independent School District, won election to the SBOE in 2002. She defeated a far-right challenger the 2010 Republican primary.

Mahroum, who manages restaurants at DFW International Airport, belongs to a variety of Republican organizations as well as the Northeast Tarrant Tea Party and the Fort Worth 912 Project. Right-wing television and radio entertainer Glenn Beck created the 9/12 Project. The group fears (among other things) a United Nations takeover of America and the rest of the world through Agenda 21, an international effort to promote sustainable development. It also sees the Common Core standards — adopted by most states but not Texas — as part of a plot to achieve a federal takeover of local schools. Among those endorsing Mahroum is Alice Linahan, owner of the political consulting firm Voices Empower and a leader of the anti-CSCOPE witch hunt.

Thombs appears to work in real estate. Her Facebook posts indicate that she also opposes Common Core, CSCOPE, Islam and President Obama:

“This should scare us all! Obama wants to teach every child in America about Islam in the schools. We need a strong leader on the State Board of Education and get rid of the the District 11 incumbent who embraces common core and and it’s watered down version, CSCOPE. It will take experience, not just enthusiastic youth.”

And this:

“Elect me to the State Board of Education and I will fight to make sure Obama’s new plan to teach every child in America the values of Islam never happen in Texas.”

The District 11 GOP nominee will face  Democrat Nancy Bean (Facebook page) and Libertarian Craig Sanders in the general election.

District 13

The only contested Democratic primary will be in District 13. Long-time incumbent Mavis Knight of Dallas is not seeking re-election. Three candidates are seeking the Democratic nomination to replace her: Erika Beltran, Andrea Hilburn and A. Denise Russell. We currently have found no campaign websites or other information for the three Democratic candidates. The Democratic nominee will face Libertarian Junart Sodoy in the general election. Sodoy’s Facebook page is here.

No other SBOE elections next year have contested primary. Following are the names that will be on general election ballots in the four other SBOE races this year:

District 2

Ruben Cortez Jr., incumbent, D-Brownsville

Edward DeClements, L

District 3

Marisa Perez, incumbent, D-San Antonio

Dave Mundy, R-Gonzales

Steve Hernandez, L

District 4

Lawrence A. Allen Jr., incumbent, D-Friendswood

Dorothy M. Olmos, R-Houston

District 12

Geraldine “Tincy” Miller, incumbent, R-Dallas

Lois Parrott, D-Dallas

Mark Wester, L

6 thoughts on “2014 Elections: Three Contested Primaries in Texas SBOE Elections

  1. Erika Beltran has a good Facebook page up now under “Erika Beltran for State Board of Education, District 13

  2. Wow! an SBOE board member is an unpaid position. Us taxpayers are getting a great deal having these folks work for free!

  3. I agree with Norm Rowland a bit about how the State Board of Education has acted in the last decade and for this reason I threw my hat into the race. There is great wonder in being a child, being free to learn and grow and develop the skills necessary to succeed in life…however we are stifling our youth and putting test scores and regurgitating data above thought and creavitity. I may be a product of my generation where these things are concerned, but there are a few things a child should know before leaving elementary school. 1- How to read, we spend more money on teaching teenagers how to read than you would believe. 2- Problem solving and critical thinking, this one would continue through high school. 3- Another language and to offer more languages than just Spanish. Spanish is the most useful, but in today’s economic landscape they should also have Mandarin, Russian, German, or Farsi available. There is a ton I would like to accomplish as a State Board of Education member, but it all comes down to whether the people in Texas really want change or not.

    1. Megan. Call hurst euless Bedford ISD. They are teaching many languages, including mandarin and Hindi