State Board of Education member Ken Mercer has won his Republican primary race in a key victory for the conservative Christian bloc on the influential panel.
Mercer defeated Austin attorney Tim Tuggey on Tuesday night and will face one of four Democrats vying for his District 5 seat in November. Mercer had more than 67 percent of the vote with a small handful of precincts reporting.
Mercer is part of a conservative Christian bloc that controls the 15-member education board, whose decisions affect the content of textbooks sold nationwide. The panel has drawn national attention in recent years for divisive debates over science and history standards.
Some GOP challengers in five Republican races believe their incumbent opponents on the board have pushed their pro-religious views too far.