One day after Vasquez called some fellow trustees "traitors" and told them "shame on you" for replacing the board's first Hispanic president with the board's first African-American president, Burnam said Vasquez would be unable to work with lawmakers and "cannot behave well in public."
A coalition of Anglo and African-American school trustees replaced President Juan Rangel after four months, choosing 29-year trustee T.A. Sims as president.
Vasquez, an education consultant and former elementary school principal, derided Burnam, an eight-term incumbent, as out of touch with schools and healthcare concerns in the redrawn and now primarily Hispanic central-city Fort Worth district.
"Look at him down there in his sandals and his T-shirts," Vasquez said, pointing to Burnam at a Democratic club debate in the Tarrant County College Trinity River Campus auditorium.
"He's always talking about environmental issues. He's not talking about any issues that make a difference to constituents."
Vasquez also complained that Burnam is targeting African-American voters with robocalls.
Vasquez, campaigning to become the only openly gay lawmaker, said he knows Burnam is targeting African-Americans because he answered a Burnam robocall meant for "my former gay lover."
Burnam defended his record of "standing up to Rick Perry and [former House Speaker] Tom Craddick" and said he has represented Hispanic voters well.
"I killed anti-immigration legislation," Burnam said. "I killed voter ID legislation. I had a role in killing school voucher legislation."
Vasquez also accused Burnam of not campaigning hard enough for President Barack Obama in 2008.
Asked how they voted in the Democratic Primary that year, Vasquez said he voted for candidate Hillary Clinton, then switched.
Burnam smiled and replied, "Barack Obama."
(Photo illustration courtesy the Texas Tribune)