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The Kids (and Greg Abbott) KO Teacher Unions

Schoolchildren were the big winners in Texas primary elections yesterday as a handful of anti-school choice incumbents were sent packing by voters.

Congrats to Governor Greg Abbott, who backed 14 challengers to House Republicans in these primary races after they killed his signature bill to establish universal education savings accounts. The Gunfight At The Teacher Union Corral ended in a decisive victory for school choice supporters and the chances are much better now that Abbott’s historic bill will become law next year.

Only six of the 16 anti-school-choice incumbents who ran for re-election won. Six lost outright and four were forced into May 28 runoffs. Traditionally, incumbents enter runoffs as underdogs because a majority of voters have already expressed themselves against them.

The outright losers included Travis Clardy and Hugh Shine, who were caught illegally begging school administrators to provide staff to turn out the vote for them.

An additional five seats were vacated by anti-school-choice incumbents who chose to retire. Abbott-backed challengers have won two of those and forced two more into runoffs. The fifth will go to a recount.

The Abbott surge even saw Dade Phelan, the powerful Texas House Speaker, who has often cooperated with Democrats in slowing down school choice, trail a conservative opponent. He will face a runoff. In addition, several GOP incumbents on the State Board of Education lost or now face a runoff.

Overall, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram concluded: “Abbott turned the whole House upside down and shook it until a record number of lawmakers fell out.”

Hopefully now renegade Republicans around the country will get the message: school choice and fixing our schools with competition is the highest policy priority for every state.

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