An extremist, a voucher proponent supported by far-right groups and an incumbent walk into a Texas State Board of Education race: This is your Republican field in the District 11 SBOE primary. Read More

Eric Mahroum — who supports displaying the Ten Commandments in public schools and opposes teaching about birth control in sex education classes — went down in flames in Tuesday’s Republican runoff for the District 11 seat on the Texas State Board of Education.

Longtime incumbent Pat Hardy easily defeated Mahroum 59%-41% in the Republican runoff for the seat. Both are from Fort Worth.

The March primary had been much closer, with Hardy leading by only about 6 percent.

Mahroum was backed by Tea Party activists as well as creationists like former SBOE chairman Don McLeroy and current board members David Bradley and Ken Mercer. Because SBOE districts are heavily gerrymandered, it will be very hard for the board’s far-right bloc to gain any additional seats in the November general election.

Hardy will face Democrat Nancy Bean and Libertarian Craig Sanders in the November election.

In another SBOE race, Erika Beltran defeated Andrea Hilburn 66%-34% in the Democratic runoff for the District 13 SBOE seat. That district includes parts of Dallas and Fort Worth. Beltran faces Libertarian Junart Sodoy in November.

Click here for our SBOE Election Watch page, which includes information on all of this year’s board races.… Read More

A Republican candidate for the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) who fathered a child at age 16 says public schools should be allowed to display the Ten Commandments but shouldn’t teach about birth control in sex education classes.

Eric Mahroum, 31, is challenging incumbent Pat Hardy in Tuesday’s Republican runoff for the District 11 seat on the SBOE. Both are from Fort Worth. The board decides what the state’s public schools will teach 5 million Texas children and adopts textbooks for those schools.

Public radio station KERA in Dallas says one of Mahroum’s two children is home-schooled. From the KERA story:

Mahroum told the Republicans gathered in Arlington he favors allowing schools to arm educators so they can be a first line of defense in the event of school violence.

He stresses his Roman Catholic faith, and believes schools should be able to display the Ten Commandments.

“I’m for that realizing not every child is going to have a Christian background but our country as a whole, we stem from the Judeo Christian values,” said Mahroum.

Dan Quinn of the Texas Freedom Network, which monitors state board decisions, says this election comes as the board prepares to adopt standards that… Read More

It’s sometimes hard to know whether candidates for the State Board of Education (SBOE) in Texas really believe the crazy things they say. Today, for example, the Texas Tribune quotes Eric Mahroum of Fort Worth explaining one of the reasons why he’s running for the District 11 seat on the SBOE:

“You have CSCOPE teaching our children that communism is okay, that the 9/11 terrorists were freedom fighters. That does not need to be in the curriculum.”

Oh, for crying out loud. Mahroum — who is challenging incumbent Pat Hardy of Fort Worth in the May 27 Republican runoff — is basing his campaign on a discredited political witch hunt hatched by wackaloons who see communists and radical Muslims hiding behind every tree (or school door)? Yeah, apparently so.

For two years political extremists, politicians (and here) and for-profit political consultants (hmmm…) have been screaming that the CSCOPE curriculum management system is filled with anti-American, anti-Christian, pro-Islamic and pro-Marxist lessons. More than 800 school districts across the state have used CSCOPE, which includes lessons written by current and retired Texas teachers (all well-known Marxist Islamic radicals, of course). Superintendents in… Read More

One of the most divisive members of the Texas State Board of Education‘s far-right faction survived a tough re-election fight in his Republican primary on Tuesday. Candidates in the two other contested primary races for seats on state board are headed to May 27 runoffs.

Incumbent David Bradley, R-Beaumont Buna, defeated challenger Rita Ashley of Beaumont in the Republican primary for the District 7 state board seat. First elected to his board seat in 1996, Bradley defeated Ashley by about 10 percentage points despite being outspent by about 10-1. Although herself a conservative who has worked for key Republican legislators, Ashley faced an uphill climb in a Republican primary electorate dominated by radical tea party and religious-right activists.

Bradley insists that separation of church and state isn’t a key constitutional principle, rejects the theory of evolution and opposes responsible sex education. His defeat would have been a major blow to the board’s far-right bloc, which has lost several key members since its peak strength before the 2010 elections.

In the District 11 race in and around Fort Worth, incumbent Pat Hardy appears headed to a runoff against tea party activist Eric Mahroum. Unofficial returns showed Hardy with 49.57… Read More