Biden, Sanders emerge as Democratic front-runners after Super Tuesday; TSTA scores big in legislative, other endorsements

Former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders emerged as the front-runners for the Democratic presidential nomination on Super Tuesday, the day Texas and 13 other states cast ballots. Biden finished first in Texas to Sanders’ second and won at least eight other states. Sanders carried California, the richest delegate state in the country, plus three other states. Maine was considered too close to call. Biden had moved ahead of Sanders in total convention delegates (433-388) as the Briefing was being written, but delegates were still being counted, and the count could change in coming days.

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, despite spending several hundred million dollars on his presidential bid, dropped out of the race after doing poorly on Super Tuesday and endorsed Biden. The only two other remaining candidates from a once-large Democratic field were Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, and they trailed the two leaders. On the Republican side, it is a foregone conclusion that Donald Trump will be the Republican candidate for president.

NEA and TSTA have yet to endorse a candidate in the presidential race. Remember, our endorsements are made based on a candidate’s support for students, educators and our public schools. We respect the right of educators to vote for or against candidates based on other important issues, but TSTA’s business is education.

TSTA’s scorecard for other Texas races:

Texas House:
TSTA PAC endorsed 28 candidates in the Republican primary, and 25 won, one lost and two are headed into May runoffs. TSTA PAC endorsed 63 candidates in the Democratic primary, and at least 62 won. One Democratic incumbent may be headed for a runoff, once final votes are counted.

Texas Senate:
TSTA PAC endorsed five incumbent Democratic state senators, and all won. TSTA also endorsed former House member Cesar Blanco for the open seat vacated by Senator Jose Rodriguez in El Paso, and Blanco won unopposed. TSTA endorsed one challenger, State Board of Education member Ruben Cortez, against Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr. in Valley, but Cortez lost, and Lucio will face Sara Stapleton Barrera in a May runoff.

U.S. House:
TSTA/NEA endorsed friendly incumbents, and all won their primaries. We also endorsed challenger Gina Ortiz Jones for the open seat to be vacated by Will Hurd, and she also won.

State Board of Education
TSTA PAC endorsed two Democrats and two Republicans in primary races, and all won.

There will be more pivotal races for the Legislature, Congress and the State Board of Education in the general election in November, including an effort to assure the election of a new speaker in the Texas House who will make more funding for public education a top priority over school privatization, charters and testing. Our focus in the primaries was on protecting challenged incumbents of both parties with records of supporting public education.

Here is TSTA’s updated endorsement list, including yesterday’s winners.