Lani Popp’s Victory in GOP Runoff for Texas SBOE Seat Isn’t a Win for Texas Kids

by Dan Quinn

Republicans have nominated yet another creationist to replace retiring State Board of Education member Ken Mercer of San Antonio. The GOP nominee also thinks slavery wasn’t the primary cause of the Civil War and is critical of sex education. Her election in November would simply fuel the state board’s endless textbook wars. Check out the press release we sent out.

Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller has the following statement on Lani Popp’s victory on Tuesday for the Republican nomination for Texas State Board of Education District 5:

“Let’s be honest that Lani Popp’s victory over her shockingly vulgar, sexist and bigoted opponent saved the state from even bigger embarrassment, but not by a lot. There’s no mistaking that the election of another creationist and history revisionist like Popp in November would simply fuel the state board’s endless textbook wars and represent a huge setback for public education in Texas. Texas students need board members who follow the facts and listen to teachers and experts rather than push their own personal agenda. Popp fails that test.”

Popp thinks slavery wasn’t the primary cause of the Civil War, is critical of sex education, and argues that evolution — a core concept in the biological sciences — is flawed.

Popp of Fair Oaks Ranch north of San Antonio defeated Robert Morrow, who was elected Travis County Republican Party chair in 2016 despite a history of toxic rhetoric. She will face Democrat Rebecca Bell-Metereau, a professor at Texas State University in San Marcos, in the November election. The winner will replace Ken Mercer of San Antonio, who has served on the State Board of Education since first winning election in 2006.


The Texas Freedom Network is a grassroots organization of religious and community leaders and young Texans building an informed and effective movement for equality and social justice.

Texas Freedom Network

A bill banning gender-affirming and medically-recommended health care for trans youth missed a key deadline in the House last week. The Senate version of the bill is still alive and is being heard in that chamber right now. Watch live: #txlege