A contentious race continues to heat up in the final days before the May 6 election in a Texas school district where dedicated progressives hope to unseat several incumbents on one of the state’s most conservative school boards.
Perhaps, the stakes have never been higher in the Humble Independent School District, which serves more than 40,000 students and covers 90-plus square miles including the communities of Humble, Kingwood, Atascocita, Fall Creek, and Summerwood. The district sits roughly 17 miles northeast of downtown Houston.
In April, the Harris County Republican Party alerted members that “liberal Democrat groups like Battleground Texas, Texas Organizing Project, and the AFL-CIO” already aggressively attacked conservative candidates and were laser focused on school board races like in Humble ISD. Online activists March On! Texas help busy voters find local progressive candidates. They state: “The path to turning Texas blue starts at the local level.” They remind all to vote and “take your friends.”
In Humble ISD, Republicans lean pro-incumbent while Democrats seek to oust conservative trustees. Underlying their angst, leftists see flipping the school board as a first step towards dumping their pro-school choice Superintendent Liz Fagen. Previously, she oversaw a suburban Denver school district where the school board approved grants for up to 500 students to use for private schools. The program later met legal challenges by anti-school choice activists. In this race, Texas Democrats decry “vouchers” even though state House Education Committee Chairman Dan Huberty (R-Kingwood) declared school choice funding “dead” in March, Breitbart Texas reported.
“A is for Abby Whitmire, B is for Bob Rehak, C is for Chris Herron,” and so on reads the mantra of recommended Democratic candidates. Two are Project LIFT (Local Investment in the Future of Texas) groomed and endorsed — Abby Whitmire, a former Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast field rep, and Chris Herron, who hopes to beat incumbent and board favorite Angela Conrad.
Project LIFT, a “new program of the Texas Democratic Party,” works with leaders and progressive partners to recruit, train, and support candidates – with a special focus on winning local, nonpartisan races.” Nonpartisan elections generally refer to municipal and county held offices, and local school boards.
Sandwiched between Democrats A and C is Bob Rehak, who says he has been a registered Republican for 50 years. Yet, neither the Kingwood Area Republican Women nor the Kingwood Tea Party endorsed him. Rehak declined to participate in the Harris County Republicans candidate questionnaire.
However, Rehak’s raving fans include Cindi Hendrickson of Indivisible TX-02 northeast Houston. She posted on a Facebook thread: “Rehak spoke to our Indivisible group this past Thursday. We all approve of his policies and will get our votes.”
Indivisible is the leftist movement mobilizing to “resist” Trump’s agenda and promote “reactionary change.” Some of Indivisible’s parent organization leaders are openly associated with groups financed by George Soros, Breitbart News reported.
Patty Pinkley, the president of the Humble Area Democrats and member of the Kingwood Area Democrats, gushes over Rehak. On Facebook, she said she voted for him and wants all Democrats to follow suit. Pinkley also is listed as executive director of Democrats Stand United, which asks private citizens for money to flip Texas from a Republican to Democratic majority state. Contributions get funneled to ActBlue, the activist parent organization and the largest online fundraising platform for Democratic Party candidates in the United States, according to Discover the Networks.
Rehak blogs profusely, sometimes slamming the Kingwood Tea Party because he disagreed with the values they espoused in their voter guide, calling it “hate-filled literature.” He attacked them for being pro-school choice, although they are also pro-public school. He got salty when he thought the conservatives implied he was an “ultra-liberal Democrat,” and charged they intimidated Whitmire by including her 2010-11 Planned Parenthood stint on a flier. Rehak inferred the group might pose a threat because past “extremists” murdered 11 Planned Parenthood employees and “attempted to murder 26 more.”
In another rant, he complained his “opponent’s supporters” intentionally photographed him at the Kingwood Democrats to depict him negatively.
A Humble ISD parent posted on Facebook that Rehak’s insights “are made of the stuff of Perez Hilton’s dreams. It reads like a gossip column more than a statement on policy.”
This woman said she tried to reach out to Rehak with her questions but he declined. He did not respond to Breitbart Texas’ request for comment.
“The Loud Conservative” responded to Rehak’s many claims, asserting “Bob Rehak has a Fact Problem.”
Rehak hopes to unseat incumbent Robert Sitton for position one in Saturday’s election.
Follow Merrill Hope, a member of the original Breitbart Texas team, on Twitter.