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Conservative anti-CRT candidates snag shocking victories in deep blue Houston school board races

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Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Anti-critical race theory conservatives continued their impressive run on school board posts across the country over the weekend — this time snagging shocking victories in heavily Democratic Houston, Texas.

What are the details?

Two conservative candidates running for the Houston Independent School District's board ousted incumbent Democrats in runoff elections Saturday, the Houston Chronicle reported.

In one race, a local pastor named Kendall Baker edged out incumbent trustee Holly Maria Flynn Vilaseca, and in another, a former parent-teacher organization president, Bridget Wade, pulled off a victory against incumbent trustee Anne Sung.

Every seat on the nine-member board had previously been filled by a progressive, the Chronicle noted.

According to KHOU-TV, issues that have sparked nationwide debate in recent months — such as mask mandates and the teaching of critical race theory and other progressive ideologies in classrooms — played a major role in the elections.

One of the ousted incumbents, Sung, complained that the issues should not have been factors.

“Knocking on doors in District 7, it was pretty clear to me that the impression that voters have of public schools, if they don’t themselves have children in public schools, is informed by Fox News and national news coverage that has nothing to do with what our kids are being taught," Sung said, according to the Chronicle.

“The fear that kids are being taught critical race theory or taught that they are victims is completely opposite of what we’re doing in HISD schools,” she claimed.

But the newly elected trustee Wade said that parents are justifiably outraged at how their taxpayer money is being spent and are finally speaking up.

“People want to have a say in their public education as taxpayers and parents and families. People want to be active participants and be heard, and so I think it was people crying out to be heard. That was the foundation from which everything came,” he explained.

What else?

Houston is just the latest Democratic-majority community to experience a school board shake-up over the last several months.

In November, reports surfaced showing that backlash over mask mandates, critical race theory, and transgender-affirming policies in schools had resulted in sweeping changes in school boards across the country.

Newly-formed political action committee the 1776 Project PAC — whose aim is to elect conservative, "anti-CRT" candidates to public school boards nationwide — announced that it had won three-fourths of its 58 races across seven states on Election Day.

Axios covered the news by noting that anti-CRT candidates were "not just winning in Republican areas; several candidates won in solid blue counties: Montgomery County, Pennsylvania; Passaic County, New Jersey; and Johnson County, Kansas."

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