A candidate for the Kerrville Independent School District board of trustees had a history of posting provocative Christmas cards, including one where he’s holding an assault rifle with the words “may all your Christmases be white.”
Trustee candidate Brandon Aery and his wife, Clarissa, posted the images over the years on her Facebook page, according to multiple people who saw the posts. The photos were sent to The Lead on Friday morning. Whether the images are representative of their personal beliefs or sense of humor is unclear.
Aery has yet to respond to The Lead’s emailed request for comment. Aery is challenging longtime incumbent Jack Stevens for the District 2 seat on the school board.
A familiar figure at school board meetings, Aery frequently addressed trustees about books in the district’s library, honing in on books about gender identity or sexual health. He provided trustees with a list of books he wanted to review because of sexual content or those with LGBTQ+ themes or characters. Aery also included a book about the Black Lives Matter movement.
In his campaign platform, Aery said he’s opposed to identity politics and wants to ensure that Critical Race Theory stays out of Kerrville schools. While not taught in most schools, Critical Race Theory became a catch-all for whether teaching Civil Rights and Black history is permissible in public schools.
Aery had other, more intrinsic reasons for running for a School Board, with few trustees having school-age children.
“I also think it’s important to have more trustees on the board that have children in school,” Aery posted about why he was running on his website. “I see and hear daily the impacts of the decisions that are made in that board room every time my children return home from school.”
The Christmas-related posts seem aimed at cultural tropes celebrated by those on the right. While “may your Christmases be white” is a lyric from the classic Bing Crosby hit “White Christmas,” written by Irving Berlin in 1942, the suggestion seems to emphasize the white part, with the preceding text in red.
In that Christmas card, Brandon Aery is holding a rifle, wearing jean shorts and standing in front of a trailer. The couple’s son is pointing a gun at the camera. His wife and daughter are seated to his right.
In another Christmas post, Brandon Aery is lying in front of the fireplace dressed in women’s clothing, holding a pipe and an edition of Vanity Fair with transgender celebrity Caitlyn Jenner. Another post features the family dressed up as roadside homeless sign holders.
Aery is part of a block of candidates in a race for the Kerrville City Council and Kerrville schools. On Tuesday, hardline backers of Aery and Council candidates Roman Garcia and Barbara Dewell-Ferguson published an ad in the Kerrville Daily Times supporting the three, with the faces of Stevens and Council candidates Layng Guerriero and Jeff Harris crossed out. The ad falsely said Stevens, Guerriero and Harris are Democrats.
Aery has the backing of several right-wing groups, including Moms For Liberty, a group leading the effort to remove what it considers “pornographic materials” in school libraries.