An influential education union in Amarillo has announced its support for two candidates in the upcoming Amarillo Independent School District elections.

Recently, the Amarillo Education Association issued a statement announcing its support for two of eight candidates running for seats on the AISD board of trustees. The group decided to throw its weight behind incumbent John Betancourt and challenger Kimberly Anderson in the upcoming election after vetting the large field of announced candidates. While three seats will be open in the cumulative election, the organization did not declare its support for a third candidate.

The group said it chose Anderson and Betancourt because of their commitment to the most pressing needs of the school district, including an emphasis on higher wages for district employees and a need for understanding between the board and educators.

“John Betancourt has shown he understands the needs of a diverse student population, and Kimberly Anderson is an experienced educator who knows what every student needs,” the organization’s president, Aaron Phillips, said in a statement.

The group’s endorsement has often been sought by school board candidates, with both of the group’s endorsed candidates in 2017 easily winning seats.

Aside from Anderson and Betancourt, six other candidates are seeking spots on the board, including incumbent Jim Austin and challengers Dick Ford, Alonzo Everhart, Aaron Ladd, Hobert Brown Jr., and Rob Parker. Robin R. Malone will be unopposed in the district’s special election to fill the final two years of former trustee James Allen’s term.

This election will be decided on May 4. Early voting will run from April 22 through April 30.

Thomas Warren

Thomas Warren, III is the editor-in-chief of the Amarillo Pioneer newspaper in Amarillo, Texas.