Big news yesterday regarding the Texas State Board of Education: Rick Agosto, the Democratic member from San Antonio who has often voted with the board’s far-right faction on controversial issues, said he will not seek re-election to his seat next year.
This news came as Democrat Michael Soto, a literature professor at Trinity University in San Antonio, announced that he will run for the seat. The district is strongly Democratic, and Mr. Soto had already begun lining up support from other elected officials, such as state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte and former board member Joe Bernal, both San Antonio Democrats. Burnt Orange Report has more about Mr. Soto here.
Without Mr. Agosto, the board’s far-right faction would have a harder time getting a majority of votes on controversial issues in coming years, such as the adoption of new textbooks in science (scheduled for 2011, although budget issues could change that) and social studies (2012). On the other hand, seven other board seats are up for election in 2010. The results of those races could also alter the board’s balance of power.
Currently, three far-right members — Don McLeroy, R-College Station; Cynthia Dunbar, R-Richmond; and Ken Mercer, R-San Antonio — have drawn election opponents. Other board members whose seats are up for election next year are Rene Nuñez, D-El Paso; Lawrence Allen, D-Houston; Geraldine “Tincy” Miller, R-Dallas; and Bob Craig, R-Lubbock.