Texas Ed Board Election Debate: Chuck E. Cheese! Monkeys! Socialist Higher Education!by
Is a Chuck E. Cheese manager qualified to serve on the State Board of Education in Texas? How about a candidate who opposes allowing people in “socialist higher education” to write history lessons?
Those were just two of the intriguing issues discussed at a recent forum for Republican candidates in the District 11 SBOE race in North Texas. Republican incumbent Pat Hardy faces two challengers — Eric Mahroum and Lady Theresa Thombs — in this spring’s GOP primary. All are from Fort Worth.
Fort Worth Star-Telegram writer Bud Kennedy reports that Thombs, a self-described “international evangelist” and real estate agent, was on the attack during the forum. She accused Hardy, for example, of being a “lifelong Democrat” (which must be news to Hardy, who in the past has proudly told folks that she supported Barry Goldwater against LBJ in 1964).
But Thombs especially went after Mahroum, who appears to be backed by tea party activists. Kennedy writes that the audience didn’t seem to appreciate Thombs’ rhetoric:
First, she said Mahroum once fell behind on child support. The Tea Party-like Fort Worth 912 Project crowd groaned.
Then, calling him “inexperienced,” she said in an accusatory tone, “He was — a Chuck E. Cheese manager!”
The crowd booed her.
When Mahroum spoke, he said he worked out the child support. He replied, “I was a Chuck E. Cheese regional trainer!”
Of course, working for Chuck E. Cheese would probably give Mahroum more experience working with children than a number of other SBOE members, including incumbents David Bradley (Beaumont insurance salesman) and Ken Mercer (San Antonio software engineer).
In any case, Thombs seems to think that being a real estate agent makes her more qualified than someone who worked for a pizza restaurant chain. So what does she think about things like history and science education? From Kennedy’s column:
Thombs had said she wanted history lessons written by “experts, not people from some socialist higher education.”
She went on: “We know we didn’t come from monkeys!”
Oh great. Another Republican who wants the State Board of Education to “stand up to experts.”
Kennedy has more here, mostly about Thombs and her embarrassing website.
You can find information about all of this year’s SBOE races at tfn.org/sboe2014.
Here is video of the candidates’ opening statements. Thombs apparently launched some of her attacks during her opening statement.