North Texas Transgender Candidate Cites Betsy DeVos Confirmation as Inspiration to Run for Office
A candidate for Grand Prairie school board, who happens to be transgender, has sighted the appointment of Betsy DeVos as inspiration to run and have his voice heard.
Johnny Boucher, a 29-year-old award-winning teacher from the Dallas area, looked to campaign for a seat on the Grand Prairie school board after Betsy DeVos was confirmed as the U.S. Secretary of Education though having no experience with public schools, saying,
After she was approved, I tried to find something about her qualifications for that position. I thought, 'If she can find herself at the top of this national leadership position without any experience in public schools or public school policy, then what can I do to make my voice be heard more clearly?
Boucher met with New Hope, TX mayor Jess Herbst, a transgender alderman who was appointed to the office of mayor last year when the previous mayor passed away from a heart attack. The two met in Austin last week at the State Capitol for the demonstration against the controversial transgender bathroom bill, Senate Bill 6. Herbst told Dallas Morning News she was impressed with Boucher,
He seemed very bright, very enthusiastic. We talked about my position as an elected official. He talked about campaign finance and said, 'I can get a lot of money from LBGT groups, but I'm not running on those issues, I'm running on educational issues.'
Boucher has said that while he will not hide the fact he is transgender, he will not be campaigning on the fact, something that has unfortunately been lost of some already. When announcing his candidacy for the seat, instead of being asked about his educational history, Boucher was asked what restroom he would use.
Boucher earned a Master's degree from SMU and has been accepted into the online doctoral program for Educational Leadership and Policy at Johns Hopkins University. As an educator, Boucher was named Teacher of the Year for the 2014/2015 school year by the Greater East Dallas Chamber of Commerce and has been recognized as a Dallas ISD Distinguished Teacher since 2014. Among Boucher's many supporters is his wife of three years, Ashley, whom is also transgender and formerly from Wichita Falls,
Johnny is absurdly qualified to sit on an unpaid, volunteer position in Grand Prairie. There was always the idea of doing something in administration. I don't know that it had to be political in nature, but there was always a discussion.
Boucher will be running against Aaron King in the May 6th general election. King was appointed to fill the seat for the remainder of the term after previous member J.D. Stewart resigned for health reasons. If victorious, Boucher will be the first openly transgender candidate in Texas to campaign and win the election. You can follow Boucher's campaign on his Facebook page.