Boosted by momentum from big wins in May, conservative school board candidates on the November ballot are picking up big endorsements in their fights to help Texas parents reclaim public schools from leftist ideologies.
Calling local school board races “the new election battleground in Texas,” the Republican Party of Texas is endorsing 11 candidates in three key school districts: Princeton, Round Rock, and Wylie.
“Education and parents’ rights are at the forefront of Texans’ minds and the Texas GOP’s platform,” the RPT said in an email last week announcing the endorsements. “Local elections for school boards can no longer be considered ‘non-partisan.’”
“Parents across Texas are increasingly concerned about political indoctrination in the classroom,” the RPT added, noting that local school boards have the power to keep kids’ schools free of leftist political agendas like critical race theory, radical gender ideology, and sexualizing children.
Two of the school districts where the Republican Party is endorsing, Princeton and Wylie, are in North Texas’ fast-growing Collin County.
The six RPT-backed candidates there are also endorsed by the Collin County Republican Party, which recommended them to the state party:
- John Campbell
- Julia Schmoker
Schmoker and Campbell are in a “top two” contest with Starla Sharpe and Tim Tidwell. Sharpe is an incumbent; the other seat on the ballot is open.
The four Wylie challengers are running as a slate against an establishment they say is out of touch with the core values of local parents on issues ranging from sexually explicit books in schools to excessive spending and taxation. Their campaigns call for the district to eliminate social and ideological indoctrination and provide more transparency. Palmer and Schwerin face incumbents Stacie Smith and Jacob Day, while Keech and Brooks are competing for open seats.
“These local elections matter to residents so much, as they should,” said Collin County GOP Executive Director Terry Wade. “Ensuring our school boards reflect the CCGOP’s conservative values is one of our most meaningful goals.”
The third district targeted by the Texas GOP, Round Rock ISD just north of Austin, has been mired in controversy since two conservatives elected to the board in 2020 clashed with the other five trustees over the district hiring a scandal-plagued superintendent, among other issues.
Round Rock ISD‘s five RPT-endorsed candidates are running as a slate:
- John Keagy (Place 1)
- Orlando Salinas (Place 3)
- Jill Farris (Place 4)
- Christie Slape (Place 5)
- Don Zimmerman (Place 6)
“These five candidates for school board are running to recommit to the core mission of educating all students for the bright futures they deserve,” says the Round Rock One Family PAC backing the slate. “Elected and unelected leaders have lost their way by spending time, energy and money on programs and priorities that have nothing to do with children.”
All five incumbents are also on the ballot, along with a handful of other challengers.
The RPT said its endorsements include “providing any and all resources available to local school board candidates.”
Additionally, the Round Rock and Wylie candidates are endorsed by the 1776 Project PAC—a national political action committee that helps elect school board members who promote patriotism and pride in American history.
All 15 Texas candidates endorsed by the 1776 Project PAC in May won their elections.
Several other Texas school districts are also holding trustee elections this November, including Conroe, Granbury, Huffman, Klein, Leander, Midland, and Tomball.
The Harris County Republican Party is endorsing school board candidates in Huffman ISD (Gregory Nason, Barbara Carroll, Robert Baten), Klein ISD (Kristin Cobb), and Tomball ISD (Stephanie Lopez, Jennifer Kratky, Billy Moore).
“We must ensure strong conservative school board members get elected across Texas,” the RPT said.
Voter participation in the November 8 local races is expected to be higher than in May because they share the ballot with state and federal elections.
Early voting runs October 24 through November 4.