The Latest: Winner in Texas education runoff thanks rival

AP News
|
Posted: May 24, 2016 11:31 PM
The Latest: Winner in Texas education runoff thanks rival

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Latest on a Texas education board race (all times local):

10:15 p.m.

The winner of a Texas education board runoff says he thinks Republican voters in March simply weren't paying attention when they nearly nominated a retired schoolteacher who once claimed President Barack Obama was a gay prostitute.

Keven Ellis said after his victory over Mary Lou Bruner on Tuesday night that primary voters likely tuned out their race partly because of the attention surrounding the presidential election. But Ellis, a local school board president, wouldn't criticize Bruner and instead thanked her for her career as a schoolteacher.

The 69-year-old Bruner came within a couple percentage points of winning the race outright in March.

Bruner has claimed in old Facebook posts that President Barack Obama was a gay prostitute and suggested that Democrats assassinated John F. Kennedy.

___

9:30 p.m.

A watchdog of the Texas State Board of Education says the state "escaped an education train wreck" after a retired schoolteacher who believes dinosaurs walked the Earth with humans lost her runoff election.

Mary Lou Bruner's defeat Tuesday night delighted the left-leaning Texas Freedom Network. The organization said in a statement that the 69-year-old Bruner would have been "the most embarrassingly uninformed" member on the state's powerful education board.

Bruner has claimed in old Facebook posts that President Barack Obama was a gay prostitute and suggested that Democrats assassinated John F. Kennedy.

She came within two points of winning the primary outright in March. But her lead evaporated in the runoff against Keven Ellis, a local school board president who is now the Republican nominee instead.

___

9 p.m.

A Texas education board candidate who believes dinosaurs walked the Earth with humans has lost in a runoff election.

Mary Lou Bruner's defeat Tuesday followed heightened attention over old Facebook posts in which she claimed President Barack Obama was gay prostitute and suggested that Democrats assassinated John F. Kennedy.

The 69-year-old Bruner had fallen only two points shy in March of becoming the Republican nominee for one of 15 seats on the powerful Texas State Board of Education.

Bruner had recently lost the backing of an influential tea-party group, though not because of her beliefs or conspiracies theories on Facebook. Grassroots America instead withdrew an endorsement after Bruner cited inaccurate school data during a meeting with local superintendents.

___

1:45 a.m.

A retired Texas schoolteacher who claims President Barack Obama is a gay prostitute is the front-runner in a Republican primary runoff for a seat on the influential state education board.

Mary Lou Bruner is back on the ballot Tuesday after nearly clinching the Republican nomination outright in March. That was despite her lengthy social media history of posting about conspiracy theories, including that Democrats orchestrated John F. Kennedy's assassination.

Her election would be stunning, even given that the 15-member Texas State Board of Education was chaired until 2011 by a creationist who tried weakening evolution lessons in science classes. The board more recently fought over whether textbooks contain anti-American biases.

Bruner has said she wasn't intending to run for office when she posted her beliefs on Facebook.