EducationElections 2020Lani Popp Overwhelmingly Defeats Robert Morrow in Race for State Board of Education

Lani Popp received 78 percent of the vote and defeated her challenger, Robert Morrow, who then endorsed the Democrat in the race.
July 16, 2020
In a landslide victory, Lani Popp defeated Robert Morrow on Tuesday in the Republican runoff for State Board of Education (SBOE) District 5.

A speech language pathologist with years of experience teaching in public and private schools, Popp captured 78 percent of the vote compared to Morrow’s 22 percent.

“I would like to give my heartfelt thanks and gratitude to all the voters in Bexar, Blanco, Caldwell, Comal, Gillespie, Guadalupe, Hays, Kendall, Kerr Llano, Mason, San Saba and Travis Counties who help propel us to a victory tonight,” Popp said in a Facebook post.

“I am blessed to have had the support of county leaders and amazing volunteers in each of these counties.”

An incredibly controversial figure and former Travis County Republican Party chairman, Morrow is known for making inappropriate, prejudiced, and vile comments. He has been repeatedly condemned by the very body he led for several months until he was ousted by party members.

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After his defeat, Morrow endorsed Democratic nominee Rebecca Bell-Metereau.

“I am endorsing Democrat Rebecca Bell-Metereau for Texas SBOE because Lani Popp is just another GOP enabler of child rapist Donald Trump, a man who belongs in jail,” Morrow said on social media.

Bell-Metereau congratulated Popp on her victory.

“Congratulations to Lani Popp for SBOE for winning the Republican runoff for Texas State Board of Education District 5 here in Central Texas,” Bell-Metereau said in a Facebook post.

“While I was happy that [The Texas Tribune] said I’m favored to win District 5 in the general election in November, I’m not taking anything for granted.”

Ken Mercer, the incumbent for SBOE District 5, had endorsed Popp.

Additionally, Gov. Greg Abbott and ten members of the SBOE have endorsed her, including Mercer, Donna Bahorich, Matt Robinson, Barbara Cargill, Keven Ellis, Tom Maynard, Pat Hardy, Pam Little, Sue Melton-Male, and Marty Rowley.

Popp raised $22,930 in the last quarter for her campaign. Morrow did not report any contributions.


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Hayden Sparks

Hayden Sparks is a senior reporter for The Texan and a lifelong resident of the Lone Star State. He has coached competitive speech and debate and has been involved in politics since a young age. One of Hayden's favorite quotes is by Sam Houston: "Texas has yet to learn submission to any oppression, come from what source it may."