Runoff Results in Key Elections Show Gains for Public Education

Thanks are due to all of you who took the time to vote in the July 31 runoff elections. In seven out of ten races we have highlighted in the Hotline, pro-public-school candidates recommended by Texas AFT won their party’s nomination for the November general election.

In the Democratic primary runoff for the U.S. Senate, former state Rep. Paul Sadler won by a wide margin. The outcome sets up a stark November contrast. On one side is Sadler, an accomplished legislative problem-solver who patiently built bipartisan coalitions in the Texas House for pre-k funding, extra help for at-risk students, multiple pay raises for teachers, the first-ever state-funded health plan for all active school employees, supplemental pay for all school personnel to make health insurance affordable, teachers’ authority to remove disruptive students, balanced due-process guarantees for educators, and significant property-tax reductions. On the other side is Ted Cruz, a Tea Party favorite without legislative experience or accomplishments who is committed to tearing down public services and promoting an ideological agenda.

In the Democratic primary runoffs for U.S. Congressional District 23 (San Antonio to El Paso) and U.S. Congressional District 33 (Fort Worth/Dallas), state Reps. Pete Gallego and Marc Veasey each won a clear-cut victory and will now go on to the general election. Both have strong records of support for public education and education employees.

In a Republican runoff for Texas House District 59, J.D. Sheffield of Gatesville ousted incumbent Rep. Sid Miller, whose voting record on public education left much to be desired. In Democratic runoffs in San Antonio (HD 117), the Rio Grande Valley (HD 40), and Fort Worth (HD 95), candidates who took a strong stance in support of public education won their party’s nomination handily. Heading on to the November general election are, respectively, Philip Cortez, Terry Canales, and Nicole Collier.

We regret to report that three candidates who had the better stance on education issues fell short in their Republican runoffs:  Jeff Wentworth in Texas Senate District 25, Chuck Hopson in House District 11, and Trent McKnight in House District 68. The margin in HD 11 was especially close; Hopson lost by only 367 votes out of 16,001 cast.