By Mark McCaig
The national debates over mask mandates, Critical Race Theory, and other issues involving public education have caused many conservatives to start asking questions about their local school boards. This is a welcome development, as most school board elections have historically received very little attention outside of those most actively engaged in politics or those with a particular interest in the public education system.
In Cy-Fair ISD, where I reside, a record number of challengers have filed to run against the three longtime incumbents seeking re-election. As these positions in Cy-Fair ISD are elected on a plurality basis, meaning that there is not a runoff and the top vote getter for each position wins, conservatives seeking to make an impact in this election must unite around a slate of challengers. Failure for conservatives to unify will result in a split conservative vote, which will only benefit the incumbents seeking re-election.
A consensus conservative slate for the Cy-Fair ISD school board has emerged consisting of Dr. Natalie Blasingame(Position 5), Scott Henry (Position 6), and Lucas Scanlon (Position 7). These candidates have been endorsed by the Harris County Republican Party, the Conservative Coalition of Harris County, and many grassroots conservative leaders and precinct chairs across Cy-Fair ISD.
Of the three positions on the ballot, the race for Position 5 is perhaps the most important. The 17-year incumbent, Dr. John Ogletree, is an active and vocal liberal Democrat who is running for re-election with the support of the AFL-CIO and the American Federation of Teachers. He has a long history of making offensive and racially charged social media posts, many of which have been documented at https://ogletreeisaracist.com. Replacing Dr. Ogletree with a conservative should be a top priority for voters.
The controversies surrounding Dr. Ogletree have resulted in five challengers signing up to run against him. Of these five challengers, three (Dr. Natalie Blasingame, Courtney Spradley, and Dr. Grace Horner) are running active campaigns as conservatives and are seeking conservative support.
While I applaud Ms. Spradley and Dr. Horner for stepping up and wanting to make a positive impact in Cy-Fair ISD, I believe that Dr. Blasingame is the strongest challenger and is best positioned to defeat Dr. Ogletree. Dr. Blasingame is a rare conservative who has worked in administrative roles in the public education system and knows how to most effectively make positive changes that are needed to improve Cy-Fair ISD.
In addition to her superior command of the issues facing Cy-Fair ISD, Dr. Blasingame has run for the board previously, giving her valuable experience as a candidate that she has built upon to run an even stronger campaign during this current election. With three conservative candidates challenging Dr. Ogletree, the risk of a split conservative vote resulting in his re-election is very real. Those wanting to replace the most radical liberal member of the Cy-Fair ISD school board must vote for Dr. Natalie Blasingame for Position 5.
For Position 6, 21-year incumbent Don Ryan faces three challengers. Of these three, Scott Henry is the only challenger actively seeking conservative support. Another of Ryan’s challengers, Ryan Irving, is an active Democrat who is running with union support.
For Position 7, 16-year incumbent Bob Covey also faces three challengers, Of these challengers, Lucan Scanlon is the only one running on a conservative platform.
Those seeking to learn more about the candidate for the Cy-Fair ISD school board should visit the candidates’ websites, as well as review questionnaires from the candidates. I personally found the questionnaires published by the Conservative Coalition of Harris County very helpful in learning more about these candidates.
The last day of early voting for these races is Friday, October 29th, and election day is Tuesday, November 2nd. If you live in Cy-Fair ISD, please get out and vote for conservatives Dr. Natalie Blasingame, Scott Henry, and Lucas Scanlon.
Mark McCaig is an attorney and Republican Precinct Chairman in Harris County.