A leading Republican candidate for the Texas Board of Education described President BarackÂ Obama as a gay prostitute and believes in a return to â€śtraditional education.â€ť
Mary Lou Bruner came first in the Republican primary contest March 1 for the elected position, securing 48 percent of the vote, according to The Washington Post.
If she wins a run-off contest in May against her nearest rival, who tookÂ 31 percent of the primary vote, BrunerÂ is expected to triumph against the Democrat candidate in November.
In October 2015, Bruner wrote on Facebook:Â â€śObama has a soft spot for homosexuals because of the years he spent as a male prostitute in his twenties. That is how he paid for his drugs. ... Since he supports gay marriage, he should be proud of his background as a homosexual/bisexual. He is against everything else Christians stand for, he might as well be for infidelity."
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She is also suspicious of Muslims.
â€śI think the Middle Easterners are buying the textbooks!,â€ť Bruner told a 2010 Board of Education hearing. â€śThey're buying everything else here.â€ť
"I think they're using their influence to get what they want in the textbooks,â€ť she added.
On her campaign website, Bruner declares herself an â€śadvocate for a return to traditional education,â€ť someone who would â€śpromote conservative curriculum standards aligned with Texas values,â€ť and â€śprotect the children's textbook fund from lobbyists.â€ť
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If Bruner is elected, she could have influence over textbook content beyond Texas. Since the state makes up such a large market, publishers whose books are also used in other states often base their content on requirements laid down in Texas.
District 9, where Bruner is seeking the Republican nomination, is considered a Republican stronghold. If she wins the primary, her election in November is considered likely, the Texas Tribune reported.
Mark Jones, a political scientist at Rice University, told the TexasÂ Tribune that he thinks Brunerâ€™s chances in theÂ May 24 run-off are strong. Thatâ€™s because he expects the hardline voters backing her campaign to be more likely to show up to vote than the moderate Republicans behind her rival, Keven Ellis.
BrunerÂ worked in the Texas Public Schools system for 36 years and is now retired.