Jennings Responds to Sadun Withdrawal

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In an e-mail to supporters today, education consultant Judy Jennings of Austin responded to the announcement from University of Texas mathematics professor Lorenzo Sadun that he is withdrawing from the race for Cynthia Dunbar’s seat on the Texas State Board of Education. Sadun’s withdrawal leaves Jennings as the only announced Democratic candidate for the seat. Dunbar faces Republican teacher Rebecca Osborne in the March GOP primary.

See Jennings’ e-mail after the jump.

I can’t adequately express how grateful I am to Lorenzo Sadun for putting our common goal of bringing change to the State Board of Education ahead of his desire to serve on the board himself. Dr. Sadun would make an able, brilliant board member in his own right. In receiving his approval of my candidacy, I feel I have measured up to a high standard, indeed.

Dr. Sadun and I share the outrage of many voters that our current representative on the State Board of Education is someone who calls public education “a subtly deceptive tool of perversion.” This statement flies in the face of the board’s duty to support and guide our Texas public schools. As of today, Dr. Sadun and I are working together to end Cynthia Dunbar’s career on the State Board of Education.

I have asked Dr. Sadun to advise me on both academics and on the campaign. His credentials as a scientist are of the first rank, and as he has pointed out numerous times as a candidate, science textbooks will be on the agenda of the State Board in 2011. We will need Dr. Sadun’s expertise in this area along with that of other scientists and educators for the State Board of Education to live up to its responsibility to guide Texas’s public schools in preparing today’s students for a successful future.

The other area where I have asked Dr. Sadun to advise me is the campaign. There are only 15 State Board of Educations members as opposed to 32 members of Congress and 31 State Senators. Thus each of the SBOE members represents more than twice as many constituents as a State Senator or member of Congress. The district I am running in is vast. Dr. Sadun knows so many people — Democrats, independents and Republicans — from his 2004 campaign for Congress and his candidacy for the state board that his guidance will be invaluable to the success of this effort over the next eleven months.

I am so very happy to be working with Dr. Sadun rather than to be competing against him. He was a formidable opponent and is now a formidable ally. This is good news for the Democratic Party, the voters of District 10 and the schoolchildren of Texas.

Judy Jennings, Ph.D., Democratic candidate for State Board of Education, District 10

11 Responses to “Jennings Responds to Sadun Withdrawal”

  1. Charles Says:

    Yes, but there is something else about this that troubles me. Here in my own state, Democratic primary candidates are dropping like flies—inexplicably.

  2. trog69 Says:

    Charles, perhaps they’re seeing how the social conservatives are savaging more moderate members of their own party, and don’t want to wait around for when the real fireworks begin. I doubt my hypothesis is valid, though it certainly is something I imagine is kept in mind by the candidates.

    I gotta hand it to the religious right; They have found a way to get their voters off their duffs and, at least potentially, getting them to go to the voting booths. This is especially compelling when I see the Dems fighting amongst themselves because of the power that the socially-conservative Dems have wielded in the heath care bill, and the utter absurdity of watching the leadership of Goldman-Sachs brought into the Treasury, first by the Bush Administration, and not only continued, but grew larger by the Obama Admin., in order to requisition billions of tax dollars to head off a looming financial tsunami created by these same G-S leadership members, by loaning the money directly to the company these fellows work(ed) for.

    While these are, of course, national, rather than local issues, they do tend to suppress voters when their party is the imcompetents/corrupteds, as we saw in 2006 and 2008. It remains to be seen in 2010 if either party has coagulated enough to get their side voting en masse.

  3. Jon Says:

    Better to save Democratic donations for the election in November to unseat Dunbar, than spend it on a primary battle.

  4. Rebecca Bell-Metereau Says:

    Well, Charles, if it makes you feel any better, I’m a democratic candidate that does not intend to drop out of the race. This issue is too important to me and to the future of education in Texas to be left in the hands of republicans like Cynthia Dunbar.

  5. mktiv Says:

    it is being reported today (in Quorum Report) that Cynthia Dunbar is not seeking re-election. any news on this?

  6. TFN Says:

    See this post.

  7. James F Says:

    Prof. Sadun is a class act. I trust his endorsement of Dr. Jennings wholeheartedly and wish him best of luck in his race for precinct chair. I also hope that Dr. Osborne (two Ph.D.s running for a Texas SBOE seat? what’s the world coming to?) does not represent the far right fringe of the GOP.

    To Charles, I think this is a special case – two Democratic candidates in one primary whittled down to one, not a failure to mount a primary challenge to Dunbar’s seat (although, hallelujah, it looks like she won’t be running!).

    Thanks to Dr. Bell-Metereau and other candidates who post here. I’m actually optimistic about the SBOE returning to rationality and getting on with the business of quality education for Texas schoolchildren.

  8. Lorenzo Sadun Says:

    Thanks, James F! Actually, there were six PhDs running for the SBOE: Judy Jennings, Rebecca Osborne and me in SBOE10, and Dan Boone, Rebecca Bell-Metereau and James Rath in SBOE5.

    Charles and trog69, I’d like to explain some of my reasons for dropping out.

    I don’t mind being trashed by the right wingers. If one of them says that I’m a communist who wants to destroy America, I’ll just laugh. But when people who I greatly respect tell me that my primary opponent is a better candidate, I take notice and I do my own accounting. I already knew that Judy is an expert on K-12 education who would make a great SBOE member. (She and I bring a different set of experiences to the job, and I’m NOT going to argue about which are more valuable.) Over the months, watching her discipline and hard work at both the public and behind-the-scenes aspects of running, I was impressed with her as a candidate. In the end, I decided that she would, in fact, be our strongest nominee.

    I’ve been working at this for almost a year, and I very much want to serve on the SBOE. But I’m not about to fight Judy over the nomination, wasting lots of the good guys’ time and money, only to see somebody like Dunbar or Russell walk away with the prize. Working together — and winning — is a lot more fun.

  9. Charles Says:

    I am certain that Dr. Bell-Metereau would make an outstanding SBOE member because she has years of experience in delivering quality education to Texas students at the college level. People who actually know something about education should be planning the education of Texas children.

  10. Charles Says:

    I understand Lorenzo and was not being specifically critical of your choice not to run. That sounds like a fine decision to me, and I support you in it.

    On my home front in another state, a local woman bowed out of the Democratic Primary race by citing family obligations. I know that can happen sometimes, but in this case I wondered whether there might be more to it. One of the Republican Primaty candidates is a mean, spiteful, straight-razor-toting woman who was once head of the state Republican Party. I view her as a quite possible racist (based on some things she has done) and the all-time queen of childish dirty tricks. She speaks frequently about her “…very strong Christian faith.” I am not sure what that means.

    The thought that this woman might end up in the U.S. House of Representatives as the representaive of my district feels…well…a lot like what it must have felt like to be Jewish in Berlin (1937). I don’t say that lightly because it is of real concern to me. Therefore, when I see a really nice Democrat who is not like that drop from a race, I always wonder whether that person gave in to the possibility that her entire personal life would be laid bare and dragged behind a truck in public, if she ended up as the final Democratic Party candidate. It may have been more than she thought her family could take. However, if she had anything negative at all in her life, I feel sure that all of it would be found out and held up to public ridicule because this is how her opponents operate.

    I just hope that the Democrat, Independent, and alternative party candidates in Texas are up to it. If you had an abortion when you were 16 years old or any other such thing in your past, you can pretty much count on it being found out and plastered across the front page of every newspaper.

  11. trog69 Says:

    I’m with Charles, Mr. Dr. Sadun. (Although he never calls; I might just break up with him.) I applaud your reason for dropping out, and as James F. replied, I am heartened to see that reasoned, competent adults are fighting against those theocrats seated at present.

    To all the non-whackadoodle candidates; Please, keep us informed here so that the word can get out. This is pretty important stuff, as many of us who are following, and donating, are from other states, yet realize how vital this is for children in Texas, and thus, for all of us.

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