School boards have become the epicenter of the culture war. After the recent constitutional amendment and municipal election on Saturday, several school board races in North Texas were captured by far-right candidates (often with less than ten percent turnout).
Many of the newly-minted school board members touted their opposition to Covid protocols, critical race theory, and certain books with LGBTQ or anti-racist content. School board races in the districts of Carroll, Grapevine-Colleyville, Keller, and Mansfield were also buoyed by the Patriot Mobile PAC.
Headquartered in Grapevine, Patriot Mobile is a cell phone company that caters to a Christian audience and contributes a percentage of a phone bill to “Christian” causes. Their website lists several rightwing organizations that they partner with, including the National Rifle Association and the anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List. “Our mission is to passionately defend our God-given, Constitutional rights and freedoms, and glorify God always,” it states on their website.
Patriot Mobile supported 11 candidates across Tarrant County. 10 won, and one candidate, Craig Tipping, is in a runoff for Mansfield ISD Place 3.
Other parts of North Texas also saw rightwing candidates in school races. In Frisco, which is in Collin and Denton County, Marvin Lowe is currently running ahead of incumbent Natalie Hebert for a seat on the school board. On the issues section of his website, Lowe pledges to end “Critical Race Theory-influenced education.” A recount of that race is likely.
In Dallas, a recount is underway for Dallas College School Board, Place 1. Lynn Davenport is currently ahead of incumbent Gretchen Minyard Williams for a spot in the runoff against Dr. Catalina Garcia. Her Twitter feed is highly critical of County Judge Clay Jenkins and the Covid health and safety protocols he issued during the pandemic.Fights over education have been trending upward in Texas. In the last legislative session, Republicans passed an anti-critical race theory bill (even though it is not taught in public schools) that is currently impacting how teachers approach various topics. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick also recently sent a campaign email saying one of his top priorities for the next session would be for Texas to pass a law similar to Florida’s controversial “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
Photo: Robert Daemmrich Photography Inc/Corbis via Getty Images
A longtime writer and journalist, Jessica was thrilled to join the Texas Signal where she could utilize her unique perspective on politics and culture. As the Features and Opinion Editor, she is responsible for coordinating editorials and segments from diverse authors. She is also the host of the podcast the Tex Mix, as well as the co-host for the weekly SignalCast. Jessica attended Harvard College, is a onetime fitness blogger, and has now transitioned to recreational runner (for which her joints are thankful).