Primary season is finally, officially under way, and I’ve started going through and looking at the Republican primary candidates in the Texas House races. We’re looking at a pretty full cycle, what with open seats, Tea Party challengers, and a bumper crop of educrats popping up on several ballots.
It was pretty clear that the educrat lobby would be recruiting challengers in as many races as possible – at a Save Texas Schools event last July, a prominent Texas Parent PAC leader was quoted in Quorum Report as saying that as many as 40 districts could be considered in play.
I wrote about two of the first educrats to emerge last October: Trent Ashby in District 57 and Bennett Ratliff in District 115. Both are still in their perspective races. Ashby is challenging one-term incumbent Marva Beck, and Ratliff is running in the open seat left vacant by Jim Jackson (there are four candidates in that race).
Filing ended on Friday and a few last-minute candidates appeared to throw their hats in the ring, including Mineola ISD superintendent Mary Lookadoo. She’s running against Republican incumbent Bryan Hughes in HD 5.
It’s buried in a story about the district’s financial performance, but Mineola ISD did join a school finance lawsuit against the state in October. This is something that happened on Lookadoo’s watch – she’s the leader of a school district that, though high-performing and deemed fiscally responsible, felt it necessary to sue the state of Texas for more money. If that’s not the hallmark of a one-note candidate, I’m not sure what is.
We’ll find out more, of course, once there’s a website and bio to go from (not to mention campaign finance reports – I can’t wait for the 30-day). School district affiliation isn’t always a reason for concern, but given the situation with school finance and the pending litigation, a red flag is definitely raised on this race as it will be in others.
Information on filing is still trickling in – not every county party has turned in candidate lists, and there were quite a few races wholly contained in counties where last-minute filing took place. It will also be worth seeing which candidates make appearances at the Save Texas Schools rally on March 24. The educrat lobby will not rest this election season, so it will be up to those aware that simply throwing more money at our schools is not the answer to the problems with the system.