In early returns, two State Board of Education hopefuls who observers say could re-up the divisiveness on the 15-member panel are leading by a long shot.
Whether the two women will secure more than 50-percent of the vote and avoid run-offs in their respective three-way races remains to be seen, however.
In the Republican race for District 9, Mary Lou Bruner — who once said Obama used to be a gay prostitute — has hovered around 50 percent of the vote. That’s far higher than returns for Keven Ellis, president of the Lufkin school board, who has about 30 percent of the vote so far. Hank Hering, the third candidate in the race, has about 20 percent of the vote with a few dozen precincts reporting. (Bruner has said she would endorse Hering if she were not running.)
Meanwhile, Democrat Georgina Perez — a self-described “MeXicana empowerment specialist” — is leading in a three-way race for District 1. She is far outpacing fellow Democrat and El Pasoan Joe Fierro Jr., a longtime Army solider whom Texans for Education Reform is backing. The third candidate in the race, Lynn Oliver, had 15 percent of the vote with 16 of 581 precincts reporting.
Returns are not yet available for the District 6 race, where three Democrats are hoping to replace Republican board chairwoman Donna Bahorich in November.
Bahorich and several other education board members who are up for re-election this year are running unopposed.