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Perry Names Lowe SBOE Chair

by Published on

So the governor pulled a bit of a surprise this morning when he named Gail Lowe chair of the State Board of Education.

There had been rumors that Perry would name the controversial Cynthia Dunbar as chair. I contended earlier this week that Dunbar would be a less-dangerous choice for opponents of the Christian Right than someone like Barbara Cargill.

Lowe publishes the community newspaper in Lampasas, and once served as a trustee of the Lampasas school board. She’s a reliable social conservative, but has been far less visible during her tenure on the State Board than most of her right-wing colleagues (read: Dunbar, McLeroy, Leo, Mercer, Bradley). You can find Lowe’s bio here.

Perry’s passing over of Dunbar might indicate he wants a little less controversy out of the State Board next year (as he’s running for reelection).

My impression of Lowe — from watching hours of State Board proceedings last year (an experience from which I’m still recovering) — is that she’s not the savviest operator in the group. She’ll likely be a quieter public presence as chair than McLeroy.

The open question is whether she’ll be more effective at passing a socially conservative agenda.


Dave Mann has been with the Observer since 2003. Before that, he worked as a reporter in Fort Worth and Washington, D.C. He was born and raised in Philadelphia. He thinks border collies are the world’s greatest dogs, and believes in the nourishing powers of pickup basketball.