Marisa B. Perez-Diaz defeated Ken Morrow Tuesday night to seek re-election to the State Board of Education, keeping the District 3 seat in Democratic hands.
Perez-Diaz, who was first elected to the state board in 2012, got 54.8% of the unofficial final vote, while Morrow, the Republican nominee and insurance salesman, got 45.2%.
District 3 stretches from the US-Mexico border to Gonzales County and includes DeWitt, Lavaca, and Goliad counties at the crossroads.
During the campaign, Perez-Diaz stressed that one of his priorities was to bring teachers and students into the conversation about education.
“It’s always very powerful to hear from members of the community who are passionate about this, the issues we address on the state board, but there’s nothing quite like hearing from young people who are directly affected by the standards we set,” she said. said in October. “So, throughout my tenure on the board, I have been committed to ensuring that we bring the voices of young people and current practitioners to the fore.”
As a member of the state board, Perez-Diaz will continue to play an important role in the governance of public education statewide.
The board exercises significant influence over educational standards and school materials in Texas public schools, as well as the approval process for new charter schools.
However, Perez-Diaz and the other Democrats on the board will, once again, find themselves squarely in the minority when they return to Austin.
The GOP held nine of 15 council seats ahead of Tuesday’s election and held that majority, with every Republican seat remaining Republican.
Only one race, the District 2 contest that covers most of the crossroads, has yet to be called, but unofficial final results show Republican LJ Francis seeking a slim victory to topple the district for the GOP.
Either way, Tuesday’s election allowed the GOP to retain control of the state council after an election cycle often centered on Republican opposition to what they saw as critical race theory in the United States. Texas public schools.
Morrow was one such candidate, a self-described “conservative Christian” who championed conservative positions on transgender and racial issues.
On Wednesday, Morrow said his loss hurt and he expected to win. However, he said he enjoyed the campaign and did not rule out continued political work in the future.
“I wouldn’t be deterred from trying something like this again,” he said.
The Victoria Advocate could not reach Perez-Diaz on Wednesday to discuss her victory.
Ian Grenier covers K-12 and higher education for the Victoria Advocate. You can reach him at [email protected].