Bruner vs. Breitbart

by Jose Medina

Controversial Texas State Board of Education candidate Mary Lou Bruner is upset at the media. But not just any media. While it’s not unusual for politicians and activists to blame the so-called “left-wing liberal media” for just about everything, Bruner is, surprisingly, upset at the uber-conservative news website Breitbart.

The tiff between Bruner and Breitbart writer Merrill Hope includes an accusation that the Republican running in SBOE District 9 released Hope’s private cell phone number on Facebook.

Hope contends that Bruner’s publication of the cell number was in retaliation for a story Hope wrote, for which she interviewed Bruner, previewing the March 1 Republican primary. Bruner won that race but not with enough of the vote to avoid a runoff. In an article published Wednesday, Hope offers this account of the incident and what she believes set off Bruner:

Bruner is now one of two Texas Republican hopefuls headed for a May 24 run-off race for the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) District 9 seat. She threw what many would call an online tantrum and posting this reporter’s private cell phone number on Facebook.

In addition to that posting, she put the entire content of the interview which was conducted via Gmail on her Facebook page. The candidate was apparently rankled that Breitbart Texas did not print every one of her 1,671 words. Her answers to questions, many of which centered around her deeply rooted religious convictions and represent a belief system many Texans share, make her well suited to run as a candidate for a parochial school board. However, Bruner seeks a seat on the state’s 15-member board of public education, representing an East Texas district comprised of 31 counties and a taxpaying constituency of varying ethnic and/or religious backgrounds.

Yikes! What does it say about your cred with conservatives when you’ve lost the support of Breitbart, the FOX News of the world wide web?

There’s more. In the article, Hope goes on to call Bruner a “loose cannon” who “continues to make headlines for all the wrong reasons and could become a looming distraction to the business of the SBOE.” Those wrong reasons are Bruner’s many incendiary Facebook posts that TFN and others have catalogued. That notoriety also landed Bruner a mention on comedian John Oliver’s popular HBO show.

The runoff election between Bruner and Lufkin Independent School District board president Keven Ellis will take place on May 24. If the past few weeks are any indication, Bruner could me making plenty more headlines between now and then.

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