In 2020, Stephen Austin was a newcomer to Montgomery County politics when he ran for the Montgomery County Board of Education.
He placed third in the June 2020 primary (He lost).
But Mr. Austin brought the Montgomery County political machine to its proverbial knees that year.
And Montgomery County’s political system forever changed.
This is the story of Stephen Austin, a one-time Montgomery County Board of Education candidate, who disrupted the Montgomery County Democratic political machine and stood up to the bullies.
Board Of Education Candidate Stephen Austin Disrupts The Machine
The Montgomery County Political Machine finally cracked in 2020 and was exposed by a Texas native and former substitute teacher and college radio D.J.
Stephen Austin had no intention of running for office in 2019.
But the Montgomery County Board of Education’s decision to conduct a countywide boundary analysis and review changed his mind.
His childhood inspired him to run for the Montgomery County Board of Education.
Austin’s father became a single dad when Stephen was 11 years old.
His father lost his job due to the Texas oil collapse during the ’80s.
Their house was foreclosed on.
And Austin moved – three times – in sixth grade alone to three different schools.
He’s undoubtedly experienced poverty first-hand – a traumatic experience for any child, Austin recalled.
Stephen Austin’s childhood experiences shaped him into the man he is today.
Austin’s two children were top of mind when he finally decided to jump into the 2020 at-large race.
Montgomery County Democrats Attack Austin
The 2020 Montgomery County Board of Education primary turned ugly rather quickly.
Mr. Austin’s positions were distorted and twisted by local progressive activists and political gadflies.
The Twitter outrage machine, the machine’s weapon of choice, often lied about Austin’s positions.
He was called a racist, a bigot, and a homophobe.
Horrific, disgusting lies told by some of the worst elements in Montgomery County politics.
Former Montgomery County Board of Education member Jill Ortman-Fouse and former Montgomery County Councilman George Leventhal led the coordinated attack against Austin.
Ortman-Fouse and Leventhal had company attacking Austin, including:
- Montgomery County substitute teacher Melissa Ladd, a notorious cyberbully and internet predator;
- Clinical social worker Lori Post, whose son, Matt Post, a former Montgomery County Student Member of the Board, Silver Spring, is now seeking a legislative vacancy appointment in District 14;
- Failed Board of Education candidate Dalbin Osorio;
- Local Democratic political busybody Laura Stewart, a part-time in-home piano instructor.
By far, the worst attacks on Austin were thrown by pathological liar Jill Ortman-Fouse, whose family members once reached out to A Miner Detail suggesting “Jill get some professional mental help.”
Montgomery County Public Schools Suffer Reputational Blow
Montgomery County Public Schools’ reputation suffered a series of consecutive blows over the last five years or so.
Many parents say they’ve lost trust in Maryland’s largest public school system.
Montgomery County Public Schools officials have earned a putrid reputation for withholding unmistakably important information about the safety and well-being of its students.
The lack of transparency has engaged parents and community members alike.
MCPS Boundary Study Impetus Behind Austin’s Decision To Run For BOE
The boundary analysis discussion and countywide analysis left parents feeling skeptical.
The boundary analysis study inspired Stephen Austin to run for the Board of Education.
Stephen Austin began organizing – far better than the Montgomery County Democratic machine ever had.
And he built his movement of like-minded parents.
Stephen Austin has done what no self-righteous, sanctimonious, woke political activist has the nerve to do: Step away from social media and run for office.
Mr. Austin slowly built a political movement and following. He had no idea what his movement would become.
Stephen Austin Supporters
Mr. Austin’s supporters were a melting pot of parents, teachers, students, community leaders, and even political activists.
His political movement, unlike the Montgomery County Democratic Machine, was inclusive; it welcomed everybody.
Despite losing the primary, Mr. Austin’s political organization still exists today.
Stephen Austin Victorious In Taking On Political Machine
The Montgomery County political insiders hated Stephen Austin.
They couldn’t control him.
And they couldn’t co-opt him.
They tried intimidating him in some of the most obscene ways.
Mr. Austin never sought their approval or acceptance.
He didn’t beg the political machine for their endorsement or money.
Stephen Austin never sucked up to the far-left county council members. He never sought George Leventhal’s approval, which George hated.
And Mr. Austin wasn’t endorsed by the local political heavyweights who control the Democratic machine.
He didn’t kiss the rings of the political machine brokers.
Mr. Austin didn’t cower when the entrenched incumbent politicians sent emails begging Montgomery County residents to torch him at the polls.
He kept fighting.
The Democratic machine lied and grotesquely distorted Stephen Austin’s positions.
Somerset Mayor Jeffrey Slavin went so far as to contact Stephen Austin’s wife.
Slavin, one of the biggest shit politicians in Maryland, reached out to Stephen Austin’s wife.
What did Jeffrey Slavin hope to accomplish?
Sadly, behavior like Slavin’s isn’t uncommon.
When somebody like Stephen Austin threatens the local status quo, the political accomplices work in overdrive to destroy the character of their subjects.
Stephen Austin may have lost a Board of Education race.
But he made his point loud and clear.
We’re not going to take it anymore.
We won’t cower at their tweets.
We won’t run and hide when Jill Ortman-Fouse jumps on Twitter to lie about someone she doesn’t like or claim that she’ll file a “peace order” against someone who challenges her.
We’re not going to allow Melissa Ladd to slander us.
The bullies are no longer in control.
We have Stephen Austin to thank for standing up and showing us that we can fight back – for our kids, ourselves, and the school system we cherish.
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