Creationist Former SBOE Chair Endorses Challenger in Key Texas Ed Board Race

Don McLeroy, who infamously declared that “somebody’s gotta stand up to experts” in the debate over teaching evolution in public school science classrooms, has waded into a key Texas State Board of Election (SBOE) election contest. Eric Mahroum announced on Jan. 29 that the creationist former SBOE chair is backing his challenge to incumbent Pat Hardy in the District 11 Republican Primary. Lady Theresa Thombs is the third GOP candidate in that North Texas race.

Mahroum’s website quotes McLeroy as charging that Hardy “disqualified herself to serve” on the SBOE by supporting a proposal in 2011 to allow voters to decide whether to transfer $2 billion from the Permanent School Fund (PSF) to the state’s public education budget. McLeroy’s claims that Hardy “acted irresponsibly” by “encouraging a massive raid” on the PSF, which funds textbooks. The proposal’s supporters argued at the time that voters should be able to decide whether to use PSF money to soften the blow of billions of dollars in devastating cuts state lawmakers ultimately made to the state budget for public schools.

But no one should be fooled here: the real issue here for McLeroy isn’t the PSF. He really opposes Hardy’s re-election because she refused to support his efforts to undermine the teaching of evolution in science classrooms. The PSF issue is mostly a cover.

So we’ll ask the obvious questions: Does Mahroum support McLeroy’s belief that public schools should teach students discredited creationist arguments attacking evolution? Would he, like McLeroy, “stand up to experts” on the SBOE? Or would Mahroum listen to educators and scholars and work to ensure that Texas students get a 21st-century science education in their 21st-century classrooms? 

Click here for information about all of this year’s SBOE elections.

6 thoughts on “Creationist Former SBOE Chair Endorses Challenger in Key Texas Ed Board Race

  1. “Somebody’s gotta stand up to experts…”. Wow, he blew it right off the bat. Unbelievable.

  2. In 2010, I filed against McLeroy in District 9, never expecting he might be defeated in the primary. He was. My candidacy (as a Green) saw print in only two places: the League of Women Voter’s candidate survey and the ballot itself. The corporate media never mentioned it, even to correct a statement that only a Republican and a Libertarian were running in that district.

  3. How can I be against Mrs. Hardy for her votes on evolution when she voted with me in March 2009 on the science standards and voted–as I testified–to adopt the latest textbooks?

    Actually, Pat did disqualify herself by signing the letter in April 2011 that would have raided the PSF. That act demonstrated an amazing lack of judgement.

    1. It’s more than a little disingenuous to suggest that Pat Hardy was one of your allies in the science curriculum standards debate, Don. She opposed your positions on numerous key votes, including (most importantly) on “strengths and weaknesses.” As for the PSF, it’s interesting that you consider letting voters decide whether to use those funds to keep teachers in the classroom “an amazing lack of judgment.”

    2. Hi Don. Serious question. I have always wanted to ask you something—no offense intended. It is my understanding from a biographical sketch that I read about you on-line several years ago (cannot recall where)that you attended a nonfundamentalist church for most of your life and started attending a Christian fundamentalist church that believes in young Earth creation only after marrying your current spouse. If that is true, was she the primary influencing factor in your change of church and your conversion to young Earth creationism? If you had stayed at your old church and never met your current spouse, would you likely be on the TFN side in the current education/evolution debate?

      I am asking because it is a well known fact throughout the American South that wives are usually the religious leaders in their households rather than the men. Ironically though, Christian fundamentalist pastors regularly argue from the pulpit that men should ALWAYS wear the “religious pants” and all the other pants in fundamentalist households.

      How does this play out in your household, and do you feel that this juxtaposition is somewhat ironic in Southern politics and culture?

  4. Don! How goes it buddy!

    I hope you check back here,and can clear something up for me. It’s a question about the New Testament, and you seem to have a keen grasp on that particular missive.

    At any rate in 3 of the 4 New Testament gospels – Matthew, Mark and Luke – the episode at the temple, the one and only time Jesus lost his temper and tossed the money changers out on their ear, occurred just a few days before Jesus was crucified. But in the gospel of John this episode took place well over a year before Jesus was put to death.

    So my question is this: which account is correct, and which is errant?