Southlake, Texas, which saw over 9,000 people cast ballots, a three-fold increase from the last local election, voted resoundingly to elect all candidates backed by the conservative Southlake Families PAC, including a mayor, two City Council seats, and two school board seats. The Republican victory came months after liberal groups promoted a "Five-Year Cultural Competence Action Plan" for the school district in response to a 2018 incident in which students were seen on video chanting the N-word after homecoming at a private event.
All conservative-backed candidates won their respective races by a 30%-70% margin. In one of the more high-profile races, Hannah Smith, a former clerk for Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, defeated Ed Hernandez, a proponent of race-based curriculum, for a school board seat.
The plan, dubbed "critical race theory," would have mandated the rooting out of "microaggressions," the creation of a District Diversity Council, and the employing of speakers who would educate students on "cultural sensitivity" in the suburb that sits less than 30 miles from Dallas.
"Congrats to Southlake, Hannah, Cam, John, Randy and Amy! Critical Race Theory ain’t coming here," the Southlake Families PAC wrote in a Saturday tweet celebrating the victory. "This is what happens when good people stand up and say, not in my town, not on my watch."
"CRT is a theoretical framework which views society as dominated by white supremacy and categorizes people as 'privileged' or 'oppressed' based on their skin color," the PAC continued in a separate post. "It also teaches kids to hate America. Ask yourself who in their right mind would want this taught in public schools?"
Hernandez, an immigrant, in an effort to boost his campaign, purportedly collected over 300 accounts of students indicating they faced racial or sexual orientation discrimination at the district last year. He said the landslide defeat was "really hard for" him.
"I don't want to think about all these kids that shared their stories, their testimonies," he said, according to NBC News. "I don't want to think about that right now because it's really, really hard for me. I feel really bad for all those kids, every single one of them that shared a story. I don't have any words for them."
Prior to the election, Southlake became a flashpoint for the debate around race-based curriculum as the course load was brought to the center stage during both former President Donald Trump's administration and the Biden White House amid protests and riots surrounding the death of George Floyd. In December. the Southlake Families PAC won a lawsuit and was granted a temporary restraining order against the curriculum after parents flooded school board meetings to oppose it.
Gun-rights activist Dana Loesch brought the issue to the national stage last week when she told Fox News's Tucker Carlson that the proposed curriculum was "Marxist" and claimed the course load would cost local taxpayers six figures. Loesch celebrated the victory on Saturday.
"How the left flipped Colorado was the old blueprint," she wrote in a tweet. "How parents took back their school district from CRT and dug in for the long haul is the NEW blueprint."