On 7 November 2006, voters in Ohio, Kansas, and Pennsylvania elected candidates who support science. Notably, in the Ohio Board of Education District 7 race, former U.S. Representative Tom Sawyer defeated incumbent Deborah Owens-Fink. Fink was a consistent and vocal supporter of anti-evolution measures, leading the campaign to introduce intelligent design/creationism into the Ohio science curriculum. Pro-science candidates also won races in three other Ohio Board of Education districts: District 2 - John Bender, District 4 - G. R. "Sam" Schloemer, District 8 - Deborah L. Cain. In the Ohio gubernatorial election, voters selected Democrat Ted Strickland. Strickland accepts evolution and opposes the teaching of intelligent design in the science classroom. This is another important victory for Ohio science education because the Governor appoints 8 of 19 members of the Board of Education.

In Kansas, voters placed control of the state Board of Education back in the hands of members who support teaching evolution. Supporters of evolution education once again control the board with a 6-4 majority. Republicans Sally Cauble (District 5) and Jane Shaver (District 9), both supporters of evolution education, replaced anti-science members of the board. However, Republicans John Bacon (District 3) and Ken Willard (District 7) were re-elected. Bacon and Willard were part of the 6-4 anti-evolution majority that redefined science in 2005 and allowed the teaching of intelligent design/creationism. Incumbent governor Kathleen Sebelius (D) was re-elected to a second term. In October 2006, Sebelius called the Board of Education "an embarrassment to the state" and vowed to push for a constitutional amendment to make the board advisory and shift power to a Secretary of Education in the governor's Cabinet.

In Pennsylvania, with 59 percent of the vote, Democrat Bob Casey defeated incumbent Senator Rick Santorum (R ). Santorum, chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, was a powerful and influential supporter of the "intelligent design" movement. Santorum attempted to amend the No Child Left Behind Act in 2001 to permit the teaching of religious alternatives to evolution in the science curriculum. Santorum was also on the advisory board to the legal group that defended the Dover school board in the landmark case, Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, in 2005.

 


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