Same Board of Miseducation?
Republicans to represent Travis County on SBOE
As in most races, the GOP candidates in District 5 (which includes southern Travis County) and District 10 (including northern Travis) hammered the Dems. Incumbent Ken Mercer – a vocal member of the religious right bloc that has made the SBOE a national laughingstock – proved immovable, winning 59% in the largely Hill Country District 5 over Texas State English professor Rebecca Bell-Metereau. In District 10, Georgetown educator Marsha Farney – who pumped nearly half a million dollars of her own money into the race – took 56% over Austin's Judy Jennings, also an education professional.
"This was fairly predictable for Mercer to do well given how he did against Tim Tuggey [a moderate Republican primary challenger]," Bell-Metereau said at the Driskill Hotel. "We just have to figure out what are we going to do for 2012, because all the seats will be up [after redistricting]. We can't let education in Texas flounder. We have an emergency situation in Texas."
Whether Farney offers hope for the reasonable segment of society remains to be seen. She campaigned as a "common sense conservative" and pledged to "put education first, not politics," but she drew doubt over her sincerity with ideological cannon fire, labeling Jennings a "Wisconsin liberal" and blasting the other party as "America-bashing Democrats" on the trail.
Asked if Farney could be better than her awful one-term predecessor Cynthia Dunbar, Jennings said: "I always have hope. ... I think it will be interesting to see what decisions Marsha Farney makes, whether she lives up to the independence she's tried to indicate that she has."
State Board of Education
|District 5||Travis County||Total|
|Ken Mercer (R)*||39,907||40%||262,419||59%|
|Rebecca Bell-Metereau (D)||53,452||54%||160,032||36%|
|Mark Loewe (L)||5,559||6%||20,030||5%|
|Marsha Farney (R)||49,081||37%||255,671||56%|
|Judy Jennings (D)||77,347||58%||183,214||40%|
|Jessica Dreesen (L)||6,524||5%||18,826||4%|