Rebecca Bell-Metereau, a professor of English at Texas State University, will be a Democratic candidate for State Board of Education District 5. District 5 is currently represented by Republican incumbent Ken Mercer.
In 2006, over half the money Mercer raised was from James Leininger. Mercer, a former Texas House member, did not face strong opposition when he was elected to his first term. Bell-Metereau, with a profile that seems tailor-made for this district, could change that in 2010.
District 5 includes parts of Travis (south of the river), Bell and Bexar counties along with all of Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Comal, Gillespie, Guadalupe, Hays, Kendall, and Llano counties.
Bell-Metereau has taught at Texas State since 1981 and she and her husband have two grown daughters who attended San Marcos public schools. Her community involvement includes service on the San Marcos Planning and Zoning Commission, the San Marcos Solid Waste Committee, San Marcos 1990 Blue Ribbon Bond Commission, and as a representative to the San Marcos Council of Neighborhood Associations.
Prior to moving to San Marcos, Bell-Meterau served in the Peace Corps, teaching English in Chad and serving as an English interpreter on relief-flights to other African nations. She later received a Fulbright Scholarship that enabled her to retun to Africa to teach at a university in Senegal for one year.
Bell-Metereau's campaign treasurer is Teresa Hobby, the daughter-in-law of former Lt. Gov. Bill Hobby.
It is exciting for Democrats to field a candidate with such strong credentials and a profile that really fits this district. Democrats appear poised to run strong campaigns in two Central-Texas based districts, SBOE Districts 5 and 10. While both were drawn to elect Republicans, they are both also very winnable. Having a strong candidate like Rebecca Bell-Metereau is the first step to winning in districts like this and restoring some balance to the State Board of Education.