State Rep. Marsha Farney of Georgetown is one of a number of Republican legislators whom TSTA is supporting for re-election because they value public education, the only issue on which TSTA bases its endorsements. Farney is a former, award-winning teacher and school counselor and a public school parent who knows first-hand what works and doesn’t work for school children.
During the last legislative session, she also advocated successfully for an additional $768 million for TRS-Care, the health care program that is so crucial to the well-being of thousands of retired teachers.
Farney is a conservative Republican whose supporters also include the National Rifle Association and the Texas Alliance for Life, an anti-abortion rights group. Despite her conservative credentials, however, Farney is being targeted for defeat by right-wing ideologues in her District 20 primary race.
Her opponents, including such extremist groups as Empower Texans and Texas Eagle Forum, want to run state government off the cliff, and lawmakers like Farney and House Speaker Joe Straus, whom she supports, are standing in their way. These extremists want to all but shut down state government, slashing public education and other public services.
Farney’s primary race is important because District 20 is heavily Republican and the primary winner will represent the Central Texas area in the Texas House during the 2017 legislative session and, perhaps, for years to come. Farney has earned re-election.
So has Joe Straus, who has two right-wing opponents in his Republican primary race in his home district in San Antonio. And so have several other incumbent Republican supporters of Straus who are being targeted by the same groups in other races throughout Texas.
The anti-Farney and anti-Straus forces are not above over-exaggeration and downright lying in their efforts to shove state government back into the 19th century. Some also are not above spreading anti-Semitic innuendo, which has entered both the Farney and Straus races. Straus is Jewish.
Running against Farney is Terry Wilson, a retired Army colonel and wounded battlefield veteran, who says good things about education but whose main interests seem to be fighting “liberals” and Joe Straus. That’s why Empower Texans and the Texas Eagle Forum are supporting him. They have no interest in public education, except to dismantle it.