Homeschool parent defeats NC public schools chief; parental rights candidates win in Texas

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A homeschool parent whose campaign centered on parental rights defeated North Carolina's incumbent State Superintendent of Public Instruction while several candidates supportive of parental rights ousted incumbent members of the Texas House of Representatives during the Super Tuesday primary elections.

While much of the Super Tuesday coverage focused on presidential contests taking place across more than a dozen states Tuesday, primary elections for several boards of education and state superintendent of public instruction races in addition to other down-ballot races that will impact education at the state level took place in some states.

Candidates in support of education reform and/or homeschooling experienced strong support in Tuesday's elections.

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Results from the North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction Election compiled by Ballotpedia show Michele Morrow defeating incumbent Superintendent of Public Instruction Catherine Truitt in the Republican primary. Morrow received 52.1% of the vote while Truitt earned 47.9% of the vote. 

According to her website, Morrow has "16 years of classroom homeschooling experience" with "expertise in developing robust high school curricula for civics, history, science, and English."

Morrow will go on to face Democrat Mo Green in the general election. Morrow's campaign website identifies the candidate as "known throughout North Carolina for working with voters and elected officials that protect parental rights and girls in sports."

Additionally, Morrow's campaign website notes that she was the "leader of state-wide groups that exposed and defeated [critical race theory] in schools" and has spoken at "school board meetings opposing CRT & porn in schools." The website also describes Morrow as a missionary and nurse. 

Morrow ran unsuccessfully for the Wake County school board in 2022. According to The Associated Press, the candidate accused Truitt of not being conservative enough and delaying implementation of a "Parents' Bill of Rights." 

Tuesday's election results come as many parents in school districts across the nation have complained about the presence of what they contend is sexually explicit material in school libraries as well as school curricula

In the Lone Star State, the Texas Home School Coalition, which describes its mission as "supporting parents to homeschool with freedom" and to "encourage, equip, and advocate for families in their home education journey," announced several of its preferred candidates won their races Tuesday.

"Home school families saw vast numbers of pro-family and pro-homeschool candidates in Texas win their elections outright last night," the group asserted in a statement Wednesday. 

Examples of "huge wins" enjoyed by THSC-supported candidates included the reelection of Texas Supreme Court Justice John Devine, the defeat of incumbent Republican State Representative Travis Clardy by homeschool mom Joanne Shofner in Texas House District 11, the ouster of State Rep. Ernest Bailes by Janis Holt in Texas House District 18, the victory of homeschool dad Wes Virdell in the Republican primary for Texas House District 53 and the victory of homeschool mom Hillary Hickland over Republican State Rep. Hugh Shine in Texas House District 55. 

Additional victories for the parental rights organization included the victory of Mike Olcott against incumbent Republican State Rep. Glenn Rogers in Texas House District 60, Shelley Luther's defeat of incumbent Republican State Rep. Reggie Smith in Texas House District 62, the victory of Caroline Fairly in the Republican primary for the open seat in Texas House District 87 and Marc LaHood's ouster of Republican State Rep. Steve Allison in Texas House District 121. 

Half of the races mentioned by the Texas Home School Coalition as "huge wins" do not have Democrat candidates running in the election, meaning their preferred candidates are on a glide path to winning their races in the fall.

The Texas Home School Coalition remarked, "the large number of victories in the Texas House almost certainly secures enough votes to move major parental choice legislation and other pro-family priorities through the legislature."

The Texas Home School Coalition noted that several preferred candidates have seen their races go to Republican primary runoff elections scheduled for May 4.

Specifically, Alex Kamkar will advance to a runoff in Texas House District 29, A.J. Louderback will appear on the ballot in Texas House District 30, Alan Schoolcraft will compete in a runoff in Texas House District 44 and Helen Kerwin will advance to a runoff in Texas House District 58. 

Texas law requires all candidates to receive at least 50% of the vote in primary elections. In races where no candidate receives at least 50% of the vote, the two candidates who received the highest number of votes in the primary advance to a runoff.

The Texas Home School Coalition also acknowledged that several of their endorsed candidates came up short.

Joshua Feuerstein failed to unseat incumbent Republican State Rep. Keith Bell in Texas House District 4. Paulette Carson failed to oust incumbent Republican State Rep. Trent Ashby in Texas House District 9. Liz Case came up short against incumbent Republican State Rep. Stan Lambert in Texas House District 71 and Stormy Bradley failed to unseat incumbent Republican State Rep. Drew Derby in Texas House District 72. 

Republican State Rep. Charlie Geren's renomination in Texas House District 99 was listed as another one of the "most notable losses" from Tuesday's elections as was the renomination of Republican State Rep. Ken King, described as "one of the most consistently bad votes for families in the Texas House," in Texas House District 88. 

Meanwhile, the 1776 Project PAC, which characterizes itself as a political action committee that "helped elect over 200 un-woke school board members the last two years," saw its two preferred candidates for seats on the Alabama State Board of Education win their primaries Tuesday: Kelly Mooney of District 3 and Allen Long of District 7. 

In the past few years, grassroots advocacy groups such as Parents Defending Education and the 1776 Project PAC have emerged in response to the concerns about the inclusion of sexually explicit material and other educational content deemed as "indoctrination" by critics in public schools. These concerns first materialized following the COVID-19 pandemic, when parents first became aware of the concerning content as virtual learning kept their children home from school.

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at:

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