Challenger Outspending Religious-Righter Bradley in Texas SBOE Race

New campaign finance reports show that one of the most prominent members of the Texas State Board of Education‘s far-right faction is being heavily outspent in his bid for re-election to the board seat he has held since 1996.

District 7 incumbent David Bradley, R-Beaumont Buna, reported spending just under $15,000 in the period from April 19 to May 20, according to his latest campaign finance report, which was due to the Texas Ethics Commission on Monday. He reported getting about $2,300 in contributions and a $500 loan he made to his campaign, but he had just $7.20 left in his campaign account.

Bradley’s opponent in the May 29 GOP primary, Rita Ashley of Beaumont, reported spending more than $48,000 over the same period. She got nearly $8,000 in contributions. More significantly, however, Ashley loaned her campaign $43,000 and had more than $23,000 left in her campaign account.

In campaign finance reports for the period of January 1 to April 19, Ashley also outspent Bradley almost 3-1 — $36,194 compared to $13,294. Although Ashely loaned her campaign $10,500 during that period, she also edged Bradley in campaign contributions, nearly $24,000 to about $21,500.

Still, Bradley likely has an advantage in name ID since he has held the District 7 seat for more than 15 years. He can also count on the support of religious-right groups and activists who have played important roles in past state board elections. WallBuilders President David Barton, a history revisionist who calls separation of church and state a myth, has backed Bradley and spoke at two of his fundraisers.

No Democrat filed for the District 7 seat.

Early voting ends on Friday. You can find a list of State Board of Education candidates, district maps and election news at