Political incumbents have gritted their teeth when I have said over the years that all of them deserves to be challenged at election time.
They usually ask, “Why should anyone challenge me if I’m doing a good job?” My answer usually goes something like this: “Because no one deserves a free ride when citizens are given the chance to offer themselves as a candidate for public office.”
The Amarillo Independent School District Board of Trustees is facing a potential plethora of challengers if enough residents want to challenge three incumbents who are up for re-election this year.
Heaven knows the board has earned the challenge, based on its performance in that controversial resignation of Amarillo High girls volleyball coach Kori Clements, who quit earlier this year citing parental interference in the way she was doing her job.
The board didn’t back the coach. Neither did the AISD administration, which answers to the board.
Friday is the final day for candidates to step up to challenge the incumbents whose terms are up this year: Jim Austin, Scott Flow and John Betancourt. Flow hasn’t yet declared his candidacy for re-election.
These incumbents need to be challenged. They need to answer for their non-action in the Clements matter. They need to explain why they dummied up. They must be held to account for the shabby treatment that befell the coach of a vaunted high school athletic program.
They should be challenged even if they were doing a good job. I am sorry to conclude that this bunch has fallen short.