Thursday, March 04, 2010

Key Christian Conservative Defeated In Texas Board of Education Primary

The Christian Post and the Baptist Standard report that in Tuesday's Texas Republican Party primary, State Board of Education member Don McLeroy lost to challenger Thomas Ratliff by fewer than 900 votes. The ousted McLeroy was an outspoken Christian conservative who has doubts about the theory of evolution. He has supported added emphasis in social studies courses on the role of Christianity in the founding of the United States. In a debate about evolution, he supported a proposal that science teachers encourage students to address the "strengths and weaknesses" of scientific theories. Different language was ultimately adopted. (See prior related posting.) According to the AP, winner Ratliff is considered a moderate. The 15-member board currently has 7 social conservatives who sometimes win on issues by picking up one or two other swing votes. Meanwhile conservative member Ken Mercer won his primary race. In the race for the seat of retiring conservative Cynthia Dunbar, conservative candidate Brian Russell will be in an April runoff with educator Marsha Farney. [Thanks to Scott Mange for the lead.]