AP NEWS

Four seek party nominations for State Board of Education

February 19, 2018

Brownsville businessman Ruben Cortez has a Democratic challenger in his bid for re-election to the District 2 seat on the Texas State Board of Education, while two Republicans also are seeking the nomination to run for the seat in the November general election.

Cortez, who was first elected to the board in 2012 and re-elected to a four-year term in 2014, is being challenged by Michelle Arevalo Davila, a lifelong educator and high school teacher in her native Corpus Christi who lives in Mathis and serves on that city’s board of education.

Cortez served on the Brownsville Independent School District Board of Trustees prior to his election to the state board. He often points out that his election marks the first time since former U.S. Rep. Ruben Hinojosa completed his service on the board in 1984 that the Rio Grande Valley has had a “seat at the table” when it comes to statewide public education issues. Mary Helen Berlanga of Corpus Christi held the District 2 seat for 30 years after Hinojosa. She has endorsed Davila.

Cortez and Davila will face off in the March 6 Democratic primary, with the winner to face the winner of the Republican primary in the Nov. 6 general election. Early voting begins Tuesday.

On the Republican side, Charles, “Tad” Hasse, the information technology specialist for the City of Brownsville’s municipal court system, will face Eric Garza, who with David Polin runs the political consulting and marketing firm Garza & Polin Strategies, LLC.

The state board sets policies and standards for Texas public schools, both traditional independent school districts and charter schools. It oversees curriculum standards, reviews and adopts instructional materials and adopts graduation requirements.

District 2 stretches from Brownsville and McAllen to Texas City and covers all or parts of 17 counties.

glong@brownsvilleherald.com

A more complete version of this story is on www.myBrownsvilleHerald.com