Abbott taps Donna Bahorich as new Board of Education chairwoman

Texas Board of Education member Donna Bahorich speaks during a meeting, Friday, July 18, 2014, in Austin, Texas. The board voted unanimously to allow its members to take privately-funded trips to such schools in other states, which critics say would lead to "junkets" and conflicts of interest. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Gov. Greg Abbott has tapped Houston Republican Donna Bahorich as the new chairwoman of the Texas Board of Education.

Bahorich took office in 2013 and is a less-outspoken then many of the board’s 10 Republicans and five Democrats.

Her nomination must be approved by a two-thirds vote of the Texas Senate. But Abbott’s waiting until this year’s legislative session concluded means the chamber won’t convene again until January 2017, when Bahorich’s term is wrapping up.

Bahorich replaces Barbara Cargill, a Republican from The Woodlands who was part of a bloc of strong social conservatives. That group for years dominated heated textbook curriculum debates, but its influence has waned more recently.

Bahorich often voted with her social conservative colleagues. But she also was often quieter than most on hot-button issues

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