By Paul J. Weber, Associated Press
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A Texas education board candidate who claimed that President Barack Obama was a gay prostitute and believes dinosaurs walked the Earth with humans lost her primary runoff Tuesday night just two months after nearly clinching victory outright.
Mary Lou Bruner, a 69-year-old former schoolteacher, had been the front-runner for a seat on the powerful Texas State Board of Education that sets curriculum and textbook standards for more than 5 million schoolchildren. But her lead unraveled as old Facebook posts in which she peddled conspiracy theories and fringe political screeds drew greater attention and ridicule.
Voters instead picked Keven Ellis, a local school board president who ran a mainstream campaign, for the Republican nomination. He is now an automatic favorite to win in November in the staunchly conservative East Texas district. The Democratic nominee is a professor at Stephen F. Austin University.
Among Bruner’s since-deleted posts was that Democrats killed John F. Kennedy, that climate change is a hoax concocted by Karl Marx, and that Obama’s health care overhaul was an orchestrated plot to wipe 200 million people from the U.S. population. She also wrote that the flood from the biblical story of Noah’s Ark is what destroyed the dinosaurs — and not a meteor as “concocted” by atheists. Some of the posts were several years old but captured by the Texas Freedom Network, left-leaning watchdog of the state education board.
In March, Bruner came within two percentage points of avoiding…