Much of the attention tonight will focus on the Dewhurst v. Cruz senate race. But there are three Texas State Board of Education races on runoff ballots across the state as we wrap up the primaries and look toward November.
Keep an eye on this post later tonight for updates on the SBOE races. Here’s what’s on tap:
District 2 – Democratic Runoff | District Map | Down in the Valley it’s Ruben Cortez, Brownsville, against Celeste Zepeda Sanchez, San Benito. The winner faces Laurie Turner, who won the May 29 Republican primary over Veronica Anzaldua. The seat is currently held by retiring SBOE member Mary Helen Berlanga, D-Corpus Christi.
District 10 – Republican Runoff | District Map | In central Texas it will be Tom Maynard of Florence versus Rebecca Osborne of Round Rock. This seat was vacated by Marsha Farney, who decided to run for the state House instead. The winner of tonight’s race will face Judy Jennings, D-Austin, who lost to Farney in 2010.
Because of redistricting, all 15 seats on the Texas State Board of Education will be up for grabs in the November 2012 elections. The results of those elections will determine whether the religious right’s corrosive influence over public education will weaken or grow as the board considers what the next generation of public school students in Texas will learn about sex education, social studies, science and other subjects. We plan to publish on TFN Insider candidate announcements for a seat on the SBOE. We will publish announcements in no particular order, and their publication does not constitute any sort of endorsement by TFN. We will redact requests for contributions or mentions of fundraising events from the announcements, but we will provide links to the candidates’ websites (if available). Ruben Cortez, Jr., District 2, D-Brownsville (Current District 2 Board Member: Mary Helen Berlanga, D-Corpus Christi) On Dec. 2, former Brownsville Independent School District trustee Ruben Cortez, Jr., filed his candidacy for the District 2. The District 2 seat is currently held by Mary Helen Berlanga, but she has announced she will not seek re-election. Cortez's website is rubencortezjr.com. Ruben Cortez, Jr. formally declared his candidacy for State Board of Education today, filing for the position of State Board of Education, District 2. Cortez, a former trustee of the Brownsville Independent School District, is a strong advocate for keeping politics out of the classroom and providing all children their fundamental right to receive a quality education. “When it comes to educating our children we can not compromise on their future. The best way to ensure our children’s future and prosperity is through education,” said Cortez, “Education is priority one.” “The complexity of education begins with the criteria approved by the State Board of Education when determining the standards and curriculum for our school systems,” Cortez continued. “I believe in a common sense approach. We must keep politics out of the classroom and this includes textbooks. I will stand strong against those who would rather see politics dictate the educational standards and curriculum of the State of Texas. I am prepared to take the fight to those who oppose impartial oversight,” affirmed Cortez. “I firmly believe public education must serve all children and we, as a society, must recognize the benefits public education gives back to society. With diminishing funding for education we will see “At Risk” children fall through the bureaucratic cracks, further erosion in the graduation rate—Texas ranks 43rd in the country. The educational resources required to meet the demands of special needs children will become a casualty of recent educational budget cuts,” stated Cortez. Read More