Texas’ lineup of statewide elected leaders remains just about the same after the Nov. 8 election with Republicans squarely in control of the Capitol.
Gov. Greg Abbott secured a third term with almost 55% of the vote, handily defeating Beto O’Rourke, and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick once again overcame a challenge from Mike Collier to lead the Texas Senate. Attorney General Ken Paxton and Comptroller Glenn Hegar also won re-election while Sen. Dawn Buckingham will take the helm of the General Land Office, which shares management of the Permanent School Fund. Buckingham will succeed George P. Bush, who did not seek re-election for land commissioner and lost to Paxton in the Republican primary for attorney general.
In the Texas Legislature, Republicans gained tighter control of the House of Representatives and the Senate in the first election using new maps drawn to bolster their majorities. The only outstanding question is whether Speaker of the House Dade Phelan of Beaumont will continue to lead the lower chamber. Rep. Tony Tinderholt, R-Arlington, has announced his intention to run for speaker because Phelan previously appointed Democrats to lead some committees, including the Public Education Committee. House members will formally elect the speaker when the 88th Legislature convenes in January.
Republicans also picked up a new seat on the 15-member State Board of Education, bringing their majority to 10, and some of the new GOP members ran on platforms opposing what they refer to as “critical race theory.”
To learn more about what lies ahead for public education and teachers in the next legislative session, register here for the next Tuesdays with TCTA webinar at 6 p.m. Dec. 6. Members of the TCTA lobby team will provide a preview of the 88th Texas Legislature and answer questions from members.