Texas Freedom Network Statement on Texas GOP Runoff Race for State Board of Education

Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller released the following statement regarding tonight’s loss by Mary Lou Bruner in the runoff for the Republican nomination for State Board of Education District 9:

“Texas escaped an education train wreck tonight. If Bruner had ultimately won election to the board, she would have instantly become the most embarrassingly uninformed and divisive member on a board that already too often puts politics ahead of making sure our kids get a sound education. We commend the majority of East Texas voters for their wisdom in this particular race.”

The State Board of Education sets curriculum standards and adopts textbooks for the state’s more than 5 million public school students.

The victor in the GOP runoff was Keven Ellis, a chiropractor and president of the school board in the East Texas town of Lufkin. Bruner, a retired educator from Mineola, drew national attention to the race with outrageous statements made on her Facebook page, in public forums and in media interviews. Among them:

  • That President Obama had turned to gay prostitution to fund a drug addiction
  • That climate change is a communist hoax designed to undermine capitalism
  • That Democrats had President Kennedy assassinated so that Lyndon Johnson could enact a socialist agenda
  • That the Affordable Care Act part of a United Nations plot to take over the United States
  • That the Common Core Standards for education mark a step toward Naziism
  • That Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush is turning over the Alamo to the United Nations
  • That public school pre-K programs are designed to indoctrinate children into socialism, multiculturalism, and homosexuality

In addition, video from a recent campaign event showed superintendents in her district strongly criticizing Bruner for misleading statements about student performance and other issues, including false claims that she had met with various superintendents (who actually were present in the room and contradicted her claims).

The Democratic nominee in the November election for the District 9 seat on the state board is Amanda Rudolph, a secondary education professor at Stephen F. Austin State University.


The Texas Freedom Network is a nonpartisan education and religious liberties watchdog based in Austin.