Statement on Texas Primary Runoff Election Results

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May 29, 2024


Texas AFT President Zeph Capo responded Wednesday to the results of the May 28 primary runoff election. 

“What have we learned so far from this year’s election cycle in Texas? Very little besides what we already knew: if you’ve got enough money, you can buy whatever seat you want. 


Gov. Abbott called last night a win for ‘school choice,’ crowing six months before the general election and eight months before the 89th Legislature that he had his pro-voucher majority in the Texas House. 

Though, I guess if I spent as many millions of dollars as he did, I’d want to rest on my laurels too. 

Just between the primary election on March 5 and the runoff election yesterday, the Texans for Greg Abbott PAC raised over $28 million, the same amount as Richardson ISD’s current budget deficit, to subvert the will of the House and please his out-of-state donors. 

Add that to the $13 million, the same amount as McAllen ISD’s current budget deficit, which Abbott poured into unseating six members of his own party in March. 

What lesson are we supposed to take from all of this? Is it that Abbott may finally have bought enough votes for his voucher? 

Or is it that Betsy DeVos’ American Federation for Children, even with $2 million spent on these runoffs alone, couldn’t unseat every opponent of school privatization? 

I know the lesson I’m taking from it: Just five out-of-state donors have flooded Texas with $33 million, the same as our state’s record-breaking budget surplus last year, in this election cycle. What it’s bought them so far is a smattering of wins for extremist challengers who now must win outright in November. 

I could think of better investments for their money, but then again, I’m not the governor of Texas.

I’m sure glad Texas public schools taught the governor how to count his chickens. I regret that we didn’t teach him to count them after they’ve hatched. That’s a lesson this state’s educators will reiterate to him next year.”


The Texas American Federation of Teachers represents 66,000 teachers, paraprofessionals, support personnel, and higher-education employees across the state. Texas AFT is affiliated with the 1.7-million-member American Federation of Teachers and the AFL-CIO. 

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