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Bad Night for the Religious Right

April 14, 2010

Just a quick election update; I’ll add more to this later.

The Religious Right in Texas suffered more defeats in yesterday’s GOP run-offs. Candidates backed by the pro-life, home-schooling, history-revisionist groups lost to candidates considered to be much more moderate.

Marsha Farney won the GOP nomination in  the SBOE 10th district race. She took 62% to home-schooler Brian Russell’s 38%.  Russell had endorsements from the usual Religious Right suspects, including incumbent Cynthia Dunbar who was leader of the SBOE’s majority Religious Right bloc. Farney outspent Russell by a greater ratio than her vote total but also had party establishment support (even though Russell sits on the Texas GOP Executive Committee).

In a much closer race, Debra Lehrmann defeated Rick Green for the GOP nomination for the  Texas Supreme Court. Green, who works for David Barton’s far-right Wallbuilders revisionism outfit and has zero experience as a judge, ran on a platform opposing abortion, gay rights, and past decisions against organized sectarian prayer in the classroom. Lehrmann outspent Green by about four-to-one.

Amend 1: This is on top of clear-out losses by Religious Right candidates like creationism-pundit Don McElroy of the Texas SBOE last month.

This is in the Republican primaries, presumably dominated by more-conservative-than-average voters. Have Texas GOP voters had enough of the Religious Right’s grasp on the state? And what will happen come November? Can more moderate GOP candidates hold their own against Democrats?

Amend 2: Dan has more at TFN Insider about the Bad Day for the Religious Right in Texas. So does Lee Nichols at the Austin Chronicle from last night before totals were in (but the writing was already on the wall). PFAW’s RightWingWatch also has an update about Rick Green’s loss in the Supreme Court run-off.

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