Round Rock Crushes Far-Right Candidates Running for School Board
Progressives won the day
Well, it's over – for now, anyway. Round Rock families and educators (and students!) are breathing a sigh of relief after five far-right candidates, known as the Round Rock One Family slate, were defeated in their quest to take control of Round Rock ISD's Board of Trustees on Tuesday. The five – Christie Slape, Orlando Salinas, Jill Farris, John Keagy, and former Austin Council Member Don Zimmerman – had expressed opposition to the accommodation of LGBT students and a desire to ban books from RRISD libraries.
Opponents of the One Family slate – many involved with Access Education RRISD – shared concerns about potential voter intimidation throughout Tuesday on social media, but in the end they were able to match the energy of the far-right candidates – no small accomplishment. "It's been a long campaign and there was a lot of misinformation being spread in our community," said victorious board secretary Amy Weir. "But we had hundreds of parent volunteers in this district who came together to support the truth and show what Round Rock ISD is truly about."
The three officers of the RRISD Board – President Amber Feller, Vice President Tiffanie Harrison, and Weir – warned the Chronicle in our earlier reporting last week that losing even one of the five races would have ratcheted up the political battle that has been waged on the board since the election of far-right Trustees Danielle Weston and Mary Bone two years ago. But the One Family candidates were beaten decisively after the race drew a great deal of local and even statewide attention and both sides raised and spent unprecedented sums. Harrison beat Zimmerman with 61% of the vote. Feller and Weir each got over 50% in multicandidate contests.
Joining them on the board in late December will be Estevan "Chuy" Zárate, who beat Keagy, and Alicia Markum, who defeated Farris and apparent Qanon adherent Linda Avila. "I'm looking forward to working with my new colleagues toward excellence for all students in Round Rock ISD," said Harrison. "There was a lot at stake in this election. I am so grateful that love won out."