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Barohich not running again in SBOE6

Another open seat.

Donna Bahorich

Texas State Board of Education chairwoman Donna Bahorich, who represents part of Harris County, announced Friday she will not seek reelection in 2020 as the District 6 representative.

“I have 8 years of service on the board,” Bahorich said. “I feel like I’ve given it quite a bit of work.”

In a statement, Bahorich said her tenure has been “exceptionally challenging and gratifying.” One of 10 Republicans on board, Bahorich was first elected in 2012. She has served as chairwoman since 2015, after being appointed to the role by Gov. Greg Abbott.

Prior to her election, Bahorich served as a district director for then-state Sen. Dan Patrick. Before that, she worked in telecommunications.

Bahorich wasn’t as bad as she could have been, all things considered, but this is a definite upgrade opportunity for 2020. SBOE6 shifted significantly Democratic from 2016 to 2018, after a modest but decent shift from 2012 to 2016. Beto got 51.5%, and Mike Collier took a plurailty with 49.5%. SBOE5 with Ken Mercer is actually a brighter opportunity, but this one is right behind it. Two Dems are already in – Michelle Palmer and Debra Kerner – so it’s a matter of who the GOP puts forward.

Couple things to add here. I have no idea if Bahorich is stepping down for the reasons she states or if the Democratic movement in the district pushed her in that direction. The SBOE is an unpaid, low-glamour-but-high-friction post, and it’s not hard for me to believe that two terms is enough for any rational person. It’s also not hard for me to believe that Bahorich decided she had better things to do than sweat out an election she wouldn’t have much control over, given the partisan tides, the lack of funds in these races, and the futility of campaigning for this low-profile position with so many voters in it. This is the kind of race where overall GOTV efforts are key, and while the lack of straight ticket voting is a new challenge to overcome, SBOE races are fairly near the top of the ticket – after the three federal races (President, Senate, Congress) and the statewides, which this year is just Railroad Commissioner and the Supreme Court/CCA. It’s before all of those county and district court races, so there should be no fatigue factor. After the 2018 sweep, Bahorich is the only non-statewide elected Republican who will be on my ballot. Or at least she would have been, but whatever the case I’m hopeful about changing that. With any luck, that just got a little easier.

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5 Comments

  1. Jennifer says:

    This race is really going to depend on who the Republicans put on the ballot. The very best thing that could happen for us is someone like Mike Wolfe run for it.

  2. Mark says:

    I shed no tear for this homeschooling mom leaving the public education stage. Her Republican prescription for reforming Texas public education did not work. We are not better off than we were 8 years when Ms. Bororich took over the SBOE. We have more charter tigers prowling the public school domains with little oversight. Ms. Bororich, the exit door is down the hallway and to the left. You did not deliver.

  3. Jennifer says:

    I agree. She was one of the nazis that would rather pay to put our poor in gas chambers instead of using our tax dollars for education. She’s a tool! Won’t be missed.

  4. Mainstream says:

    What mean-spirited comments! People who take time away from family and business to serve the community deserve more respect, even if they have a different approach to reforming public education than entrenched labor unions fearful of competition and whose record of low achievement in public education leaves lots of room to criticize.

  5. Mainstream says:

    Will Hickman, a former Bellaire city council member, and well-connected within Republican circles has announced for the position. willhickmancampaign.com.