After a hard fought Primary election in March, home schoolers and parents had a large task ahead of them for the runoff election. Fewer candidates on the ballot mean more effort and more money dedicated to each race by both sides. Although there were certainly a few disappointments, home schoolers and parents ended up with several large victories that will serve them well next legislative session.
THSC dedicated more time, effort, staff, and funds to the 2016 elections than we ever have before because, frankly, the Texas Legislature has not delivered on issues of parental rights.
For home schoolers and parents, there were five huge victories in the Texas Legislative races.
How did we fare in the legislature?
Bryan Hughes handily won his race for Senate with over 60 percent of the vote. In 2015, he went to the House floor again and again to defend Texas parents against unjust intrusions by CPS. Additionally, Bryan Hughes was a great asset to THSC in 2015 in getting our parental rights bill a hearing in the Texas House.
Dr. Dawn Buckingham won her race for Senate with the majority of the vote after running an outstanding campaign as a strong conservative and a defender of parental rights. Her opponent, Rep. Susan King, has been a dangerous threat to parental rights in the Texas House and earned the ire of home schoolers and parents when she presented legislation in 2013 that would allow doctors to make life and death decisions for patients even over the objections of parents and family members. As a caring and upstanding physician in her community, Dr. Buckingham exhibits a strong respect for the role of parents and families in important medical decisions.
Undoing Obstruction of Your Rights
Texas House leadership has been a deliberate and significant obstruction to parental rights reforms, and last night two House Chairmen appointed by House Speaker Joe Straus were defeated by outstanding conservative, parental rights champions.All it takes is 1 home school fam to beat a RINO! #KeepTXFamiliesFree #THSCKnowsTX Click To Tweet
In Houston, Briscoe Cain defeated Chairman Wayne Smith by 23 votes (or as some have joked, by the votes of one home school family).
In San Antonio, Kyle Biedermann soundly defeated Chairman Doug Miller by approximately a 10 percent margin.
Additionally, home school graduate and current home school father Cole Hefner won his election near Longview with more than 60 percent of the vote.
Although it has become common place for legislators to “support” home schooling and parental rights with merely a smile and a few nice words, these five new legislators will be bold advocates for parental rights in Austin.
How about statewide races?
Wayne Christian won the race for Texas Railroad Commissioner by taking 51 percent of the vote. Christian is a proven representative and a steadfast leader. He proved that he was a man of strong moral principles when he served in the Texas House of Representatives, as well as being a steadfast defender of parental rights.
In addition to our success in both statewide and legislative races, home schoolers and parents scored another great success in a local runoff election where Bill Waybourn won the race for Tarrant County Sheriff. Despite what many think, local law enforcement play a huge role in the defense of parental rights through issues of truancy, Child Protective Services, and daytime curfews.
Unfortunately, we had several losses that hit close to home. In addition to a few more legislative races where we had hoped to see victories, several other local THSC-endorsed candidates lost their election bids. While this is saddening, the great victories experienced in the legislative arena were, overall, a significant win for home schoolers and parents.
Despite some losses, we are excited about this new wave of parental rights champions joining the Texas Legislature. Thank you so much for your contributions over the past several months to help Keep Texas Families Free. None of this would have been possible without you.
Be sure to sign up for our email list here and know the behind-the-scenes efforts as we head into a new legislative season and expand your freedom in this planning phase.