Boy am I hoping that Republican Pat Hardy wins her primary for the District 11 on the Texas State Board of Education. All I know about Pat Hardy is this:

Ms. Hardy is no free-thinking liberal. She's a rock-solid Republican and dyed-in-the-wool Southern Baptist who firmly believes God is behind all of creation.

But she also believes in teaching evolution in science classes. Her opponent, Dr. Barney Maddox describes evolution as

"a myth" and "a fairy tale."

Why is this race so crucial? Well, right now seven of the fifteen members of the State Board of Education favor introducing some form of intelligent design creationism into Texas science classes. If Maddox wins, they gain the majority.

Update: Frederick Clarkson has more here.

Maddox has a big financial advantage; he has loans of over $70,000 out and has spent $61,000. Pat Hardy has raised less than $6,000. Hardy admits she's running scared:

"He seems to be running a stealth campaign," Ms. Hardy said. And she's a little unnerved by that.

"I really am worried," she said. "I don't know what to expect."

There is no Democrat running, so the race will be decided on Tuesday in the Republican primary.

And why should the rest of you outside of Texas care? Because, as I diaried here Texas is the second largest purchaser of school textbooks in the nation. If Texas decides to purchase books containing creationism you may well find that theory appearing in a public school near you.

Originally posted to Searching For A Better Way on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 02:02 PM PST.

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