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Texas voters show strong support for educators in constitutional election

Teach the Vote
Teach the Vote

School Finance Retirement | TRS | Social Security Texas Legislature Elections

Date Posted: 11/08/2023 | Author: Mark Wiggins

Texas voters presented an overwhelming show of support for retired teachers, passing a cost-of-living adjustment for retired educators by the widest margin of the election. Proposition 9 passed with roughly 84% support. 

The only other proposition that came close in terms of overall support was Proposition 4, which increased the homestead exemption from $40,000 to $100,000 and passed with 83% support. 

Voters rejected Proposition 13, which would increase the mandatory age of retirement for state justices and judges. Constitutional amendments rarely fail, which makes Proposition 13’s rejection by 63% of voters noteworthy. 

House District (HD) 2 held a special election to fill the unexpired term for former state Rep. Bryan Slaton (R-Royse City), whom the House voted to expel after an investigation determined he had provided alcohol to and engaged in an extramarital affair with a 19-year-old staffer. Greenville lawyer Brent Money and Republican activist Jill Dutton of Van Zandt are headed to a runoff for the North Texas district seat. 

Money led the race with 32% of the vote, followed by Dutton at 25% and Republican Heath Hyde at 22%. Democrat Kristen Washington carried 11% of the vote, Republican Doug Roszhart took 8%, and Republican Krista Schild finished last with just under 3%.  

The HD 2 race represents a proxy war between factions of the Republican Party of Texas. Money is supported by Defend Texas Liberty PAC, which has come under criticism recently for working with white supremacist leader Nick Fuentes. Dutton was backed by associates of Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan. Hyde, a dark horse candidate who was not expected to be a factor in the race, significantly outperformed expectations against the considerably better-funded front runners on a last-minute surge of support from the agricultural and education communities.  

Just 21% of registered voters participated in the HD 2 special election, leaving roughly 28,000 participants to decide on behalf of 131,000 registered voters in a district that is home to 194,000 people. The margin between the first- and third-place finisher was less than 3,000 votes. 


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