SBOE Races Take Shape as Filing Approaches

The candidate filing period for the 2010 Texas elections opens on Thursday (December 3), but many candidates for the Texas State Board of Education are already off and running – and early indications are that far-right incumbents on the state board will face stiff challenges for re-election.

Let’s look first at the most interesting Republican Primary races that are developing.

District 9 incumbent Don McLeroy, R-College, faces fellow Republican Thomas Ratliff, a governmental relations consultant and lobbyist from Mount Pleasant and son of the popular former state senator and acting lieutenant governor Bill Ratliff. McLeroy served as board chair for nearly two years until May, when the Texas Senate refused to confirm his renomination to a second term to head the board.

Ratliff has already picked up a number of important endorsements, including support from two powerful Texas House committee chairmen: Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, who heads the Appropriations Committee, and Brian McCall, R-Plano, who chairs Calendars. Earlier in November he announced the backing of a list of PTA leaders from vote-rich Collin County as well.

District 5 incumbent Ken Mercer, R-San Antonio, also could face a tough fight in his Republican Primary against Tim Tuggey, an Austin attorney and past chair of San Antonio’s VIA Metropolitan Transit agency. Tuggey has the backing of a number of San Antonio heavyweights, including businessmen Red McCombs, Bartell Zachry and David Spencer.

District 10 incumbent Cynthia Dunbar, R-Richmond, faces Williamson County teacher Rebecca Osborne in the March GOP primary. Osborne’s 16-year career in education should make her an appealing candidate for parents seeking an alternative to the extremism promoted by Dunbar, who has called public education a “tool of perversion,” “tryannical” and unconstitutional.

If Republican voters do renominate Dunbar and Mercer, the two will still face Democratic challengers in the November general election.

Democrats who have announced their intention to seek Mercer’s District 5 seat are Rebecca Bell-Metereau, Daniel Boone, Josiah Ingalls. Metereau is an English and film professor at Texas State University-San Marcos. Boone of Canyon Lake is a retired career Air Force officer and a professional psychologist who has taught at the university level. Ingalls is an Austin resident who also ran for mayor this past spring.

So far two Democrats have announced for Dunbar’s District 10 seat. Judy Jennings is an education consultant in Austin. Lorenzo Sadun is a professor of mathematics at the University of Texas at Austin.

At this time we haven’t heard anything about a Democrat seeking McLeroy’s District 4 seat.

In San Antonio, however, Democrat Rick Agosto has announced that he will not seek re-election to his District 3 seat. So far the only announced candidate for District 3 is Democrat Michael Soto, a Trinity University literature professor in San Antonio. Soto has lined up support from, among others, former state board member Joe Bernal of San Antonio and Charles Butt of HEB. It’s unknown whether a Republican will seek the seat. District 3 is heavily Democratic.

UPDATE: Here are the other state board seats up for election in 2010:

District 1: Rene Nuñez, D-El Paso, is the incumbent. No challengers have emerged yet.

District 4: Lawrence Allen, D-Houston, is the incumbent. No challengers have emerged yet.

District 12: Geraldine “Tincy” Miller, R-Dallas, is the incumbent. George Clayton of Richardson has announced his intention to challenge her, but we’re not sure of his party affiliation.

District 15: Bob Craig, R-Lubbock, is the incumbent. No challengers have emerged yet.

5 thoughts on “SBOE Races Take Shape as Filing Approaches

  1. This race is important as it will be the chance to counter the far radical right agenda that has interferred with excellence in education for our youth for several recent textbook adoptions. There must be an end to using our public school system to advance an agenda that does not have as its sole purpose the single agenda of providing an education which will prepare our youth to compete successfully in the 21st century.

  2. See our group who’s focusing on raising the profile of the SBOE races, especially the SBOE 10 race.

  3. I am delighted to see so many challengers to the pro-theocracy bloc. It’s also nice to see some of them posting here, like Dr. Boone above (or Col. Boone, such an impressive résumé) and Prof. Lorenzo Sadun. And let’s not forget that the replacement of Rick Agosto with Prof. Michael Soto puts a reliably pro-science, pro-history member on to the board.

  4. I believe that the outcome of this race will signal a key turning point in public education for Texas. I will work to bring accountability back to the board and to re-focus on teaching rather than politics and profits. This is a goal that I believe the current board has lost sight of. I am a moderate candidate with 30+ years of teaching experience and I will work to ensure that every child in Texas, regardless of location, race, or socioeconomic status, will get the excellent public education they deserve.