by Jose Medina

Texas State Board of Education District 12 member George Clayton has changed course and decided against a write-in bid to retain his seat on the board, he told TFN.

Clayton, R-Richardson, finished third in his party’s primary on May 29. Last month, in an email to far-right activist Donna Garner, Clayton said he planned to run as a write-in candidate.

But in a subsequent email received by TFN Thursday, Clayton says he has made a “pragmatic” decision, and he “will not be a write in candidate for the district 12 spot.”

Clayton’s decision means we will see at least seven new faces on the 15-member board following the November general elections.

Clayton was first elected in 2010 but was up for re-election along with all of his colleagues this year because of redistricting. Geraldine “Tincy” Miller, whom Clayton ousted in 2010, is trying to return to the board after winning the July 31 runoff election against Gail Spurlock.

Miller will face Democrat Lois Parrott in November.… Read More

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.

District 12 – Republican Runoff | District Map | Geraldine “Tincy” Miller looks to take a step toward regaining the seat she lost to… Read More

Texas State Board of Education member George Clayton’s guns are blazing in a searing email exchange that makes it clear he plans to run for re-election as a write-in candidate this November. Clayton finished third in the May 29 Republican primary for the Dallas-area, District 12 seat. Former state board member Geraldine “Tincy” Miller and Gail Spurlock face each other in a July 31 runoff for the GOP nomination against Democrat Lois Parrott. But what’s really interesting in Clayton’s emails is his open contempt for right-wingers who have used his sexual orientation as a campaign tactic against him.

Last November Clayton acknowledged he is gay after he became aware of a whisper campaign among right-wing activists questioning his personal life. Donna “Jeffrey Dahmer Believed in Evolution” Garner, a right-wing gadfly and ally of the state board’s creationist faction, subsequently withdrew her earlier endorsement of Clayton. She warned that he couldn’t be trusted to help revise new health curriculum standards — standards that cover sex education — because he’s gay.

Yesterday Garner fired off an email to her list supporting Spurlock, one of nine state board candidates who got the highest “grades” in… Read More

In the 1990s, San Antonio businessman James Leininger — the religious right’s sugar daddy in Texas — poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into State Board of Education (SBOE) races. That money helped hard-right social conservatives build a multi-year campaign to take control of the board — and turned subsequent board debates over textbooks and curriculum standards into divisive “culture war” battles that put politics ahead of education. But new campaign finance reports — which cover contributions and expenditures for January 1-April 19 — to the Texas Ethics Commission show that far less money is flowing (so far) into most election contests for all 15 SBOE seats this year. Moreover, Leininger hasn’t contributed any money (so far) to candidates in those races.

In the District 12 Republican primary, Geraldine “Tincy” Miller, R-Dallas, is spending a lot of her own money to win back her old state board seat, which she lost to George Clayton, R-Richardson, in 2010. Miller’s spending tops that of all SBOE candidates, by far. She reported nearly $93,000 in campaign expenditures over the first four months of this year. That’s in addition to the $41,000 she spent in the last six months of… Read More

Yesterday Texas State Board of Education member George Clayton, R-Richardson, unexpectedly announced that he will not seek re-election to his seat. Clayton said he will instead seek election to the Texas House of Representatives.

Clayton won a surprise victory over longtime incumbent Geraldine “Tincy” Miller, R-Dallas, in the 2010 Republican primary for the District 12 state board seat. Religious-righters on and off the board have been critical of Clayton, who has generally voted with the board’s mainstream Republican bloc. Clayton publicly acknowledged last fall that he is gay after far-right groups like Golden Corridor Republican Women promoted a whisper campaign targeting his private life.

Clayton’s decision not to seek re-election leaves three Republicans — Miller, Pam Little of Fairview, and Gail Spurlock of Richardson — and Democrat Lois Parrott of Dallas in the race for the District 12 board seat.

Check out TFN’s SBOE election watch page for more information on candidates and board districts in the 2012 elections.… Read More

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