Texas school board elections tend to see more candidates file per seat in odd-numbered years than in even-numbered years. Between 2018 and 2023, odd-numbered election years have averaged 2.08 candidates per seat, while even-numbered election years have averaged 1.78 candidates per seat. The highest average number of candidates per seat in Texas school board elections occurred in 2021 when 2.20 candidates filed per seat. The lowest average number of candidates per seat was in 2020 with 1.68 candidates per seat.
By contrast, school board incumbents in Texas between 2018 and 2023 were more likely to lose re-election in even-numbered years than in odd-numbered years. During even-numbered years, 19.76% of incumbents who ran for re-election were defeated compared to the 14.44% of incumbents in odd-numbered years. The highest average percentage of school board incumbents who lost re-election was in 2022 with 25.28%. The lowest average percentage of incumbents who lost re-election was in 2019 with 9.63%.
In 2023, Ballotpedia will cover elections for 172 Texas school board seats. Of those, 150 seats were on the ballot in May. Those May elections saw an average of 2.04 candidates per seat. If the volume of candidates filing for seats in November matches the May numbers, Texas will continue to see a higher number of candidates per seat in odd-numbered years than in even-numbered years.
During the May 2023 election, 22.02% of incumbents lost re-election. If the November elections mirror the May elections, 2023 will have the second-highest percentage of school board incumbents lose re-election between 2018 and 2023, coming in second to the 2022 election and breaking the trend of incumbents losing re-election in higher rates in even-numbered years.