In Saturday’s nominally nonpartisan city and school board elections, two-thirds of the candidates endorsed by the Republican Party of Texas won their races.

Texas GOP Chairman Matt Rinaldi called it a “big night for conservative candidates in local elections.”


School board candidates in Harris County, who were also endorsed by the local party, scored big wins, sweeping races in Katy, Pasadena, and Spring Branch.

“Spring Branch ISD is a model of parents organizing to take back their schools!” said Rolando Garcia, the State Republican Executive Committeeman for Senate District 15 in Houston.

Garcia said there is no such thing as a “nonpartisan” election.

“Every race is a choice between conservative values and leftist progressive values,” he said.

School board races are necessarily “political” in that vital questions of public policy are at stake. When a candidate claims that school boards shouldn’t be “political” or “partisan,” they are trying to hide the fact that their values are out of step with the community’s values.


We need politics in school board races to keep politics out of the classroom. Leftists infiltrate school boards in Republican-leaning areas by dodging questions about issues (“that’s divisive!”) and just talking about all the PTA meetings they’ve attended.

In another Texas GOP win, voters elected Ed Harrison to the Midlothian ISD school board. He is the father of Republican State Rep. Brian Harrison of Midlothian, whose children attend schools in the district.

In all, the party endorsed 25 local candidates across the state. Sixteen of those won.

  • Cole Stanley, Amarillo mayor
  • Tom Scherlen, Amarillo City Council
  • Mike Fletcher, Corsicana mayor
  • Michael Grabowski, Humble ISD trustee
  • Morgan Calhoun, Katy ISD trustee
  • Mary Ellen Cuzela, Katy ISD trustee
  • Amy Thieme, Katy ISD trustee
  • Ed Harrison, Midlothian ISD trustee
  • Kenny Fernandez, Pasadena ISD trustee
  • Vickie Morgan, Pasadena ISD trustee
  • Marshall Kendrick, Pasadena ISD trustee
  • Courtney Anderson, Spring Branch ISD trustee
  • Shannon Mahan, Spring Branch ISD trustee
  • Toby Taylor, Weatherford ISD trustee
  • Zach Smith, Weatherford City Council
  • Doug Dowd, Weatherford College trustee

Another GOP-endorsed candidate, Collin College trustee Jay Saad, is headed to a runoff election.

Two other Collin County school board candidates backed by the party, incumbent Plano ISD trustee Cody Weaver and Frisco ISD challenger Reed Bond, lost their races. Democrats swept all three school board races and picked up a city council seat in Plano, which has become more liberal-leaning in recent years.

In Tarrant County, seven of the 10 local candidates highlighted by Gateway Church’s Pastor Robert Morris as having values aligned with biblical principles won their races:

  • Eric Lannen, Carroll ISD trustee
  • Jorja Clemson, Grand Prairie City Council
  • J. Pontillo and Mary Humphrey, Grapevine-Colleyville ISD
  • Ross McMullin, Keller City Council
  • John Birt and Chris Coker, Keller ISD

School boards in Carroll, Grapevine-Colleyville, and Keller are now solidly conservative.

Garcia said school boards “are your community’s most important governing body” because they set the tax rate of community’s largest taxing jurisdiction and manage the budget of community’s largest employer, while also overseeing school curriculum and safety.

“You’re not electing someone to organize the booster club bake sale,” he said. “You’re electing someone to oversee what is taught to your children.”

Erin Anderson

Erin Anderson is a Senior Journalist for Texas Scorecard, reporting on state and local issues, events, and government actions that impact people in communities throughout Texas and the DFW Metroplex. A native Texan, Erin grew up in the Houston area and now lives in Collin County.