Teachers’ Unions Quietly Support GOP Candidates They Like, But Avoid Endorsing Them

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Teachers’ Unions are quietly propping up Republican candidates in state legislatures with less conservative positions, while abstaining from endorsing them publicly. 

These unions, including the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), are typically some of the largest donors to Democrats. In recent years, however, they have started donating more to Republican candidates in state legislative elections to the tune of millions of dollars, especially in areas that lean Republican already, the Daily Signal reported

Corey DeAngelis, a senior fellow at the American Federation for Children, has reported via Twitter that the Texas AFT has made 77 endorsements this election, none of which have been Republicans. This despite the fact that Republicans they have endorsed in the past were running for reelection.

However, the Texas AFT has made contributions to the Defend Rural Texas PAC, which has contributed to Republican candidates, according to the data on Transparency USA. 

The Texas AFT reportedly appears to have been phone-banking on behalf of Republicans who opposed school choice vouchers this election cycle, according to DeAngelis. School choice vouchers are currently a hot-button issue in Texas. The endorsements of Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott successively helped oust some Republicans in the state legislature who opposed school vouchers in the recent primaries, according to the New York Post.

Given these circumstances, the Texas AFT has appeared to withhold from giving Republican candidates a public endorsement, which DeAngelis termed “the kiss of death for Republicans” in a statement to the Daily Caller, seemingly opting instead to quietly support candidates whose positions they favor. (RELATED: More Universities Are Finding Key Loophole To Skirt State Diversity, Equity And Inclusion Bans)

The Caller reached out to the Texas AFT for comment about their reported practices regarding their quiet support for some Republicans, but they did not comment by the time of publication.

David Slattery, a School Board Trustee candidate for the Spring Branch Independent School District in Harris County, Texas, appears to be one such candidate who has received Texas AFT support in the past. Slattery, who ran in 2022, received support from the Texas AFT, who phone-banked on his behalf, according to Save SBISD, although the Texas AFT did not officially endorse him.

He also received support from the Families 4 Every Child PAC, an organization with alleged ties to George Soros, Save SBISD reported.

While School Board Trustee positions are technically non-partisan in Texas, Slattery, who lost in 2022, appears to be portraying himself as a conservative candidate in the 2024 election as part of an apparent rebrand effort.

“Student-Focus, Conservative Values, and Trustworthy Leadership,” his Facebook campaign page reads.

Slattery has managed to pick up a number of endorsements from multiple local Harris county Republicans this election, despite the support he has received from liberal organizations in the past. The endorsements include Texas Republican state legislature representatives Mano DeAyala and Lacey Hull, as well as Mike Knox. Knox is running for Harris County Sheriff, 

Tom Slocum, a former candidate for Texas Railroad Commissioner and a Texas Conservative activist, told the Daily Caller that it is “sad” that so many Republicans were willing to endorse Slattery. 

“It is sad to see our local GOP elected officials, and leaders like Rep. Mano DeAyala, Rep. Lacey Hull, Councilwoman Mary Huffman and Mike Knox acquiesce to the left and endorse a candidate who was just supported by Randi Weingarten’s AFT two years ago against our republican conservative SBISD Board Trustee Caroline Bennett,” Slocum told the Caller.

The Caller reached out to Slattery for comment on the support he has received from Texas AFT and the Families 4 Every Child PAC in the past, as well as his stance on school choice vouchers. He did not respond by the time of publication.