In an interview with Fox News Digital, five of the six Florida school board candidates who received the governor’s support won their respective races on Tuesday. These candidates gave the governor credit for their victories. Voters “defend the rights of parents,” he stated during his victory address, and “rejected woke philosophy.”
Following his endorsement of 30 candidates for the school board who shared his priorities, DeSantis’ pro-parent platform seemed to be realized in wins on the board of education. Tuesday night saw the addition of six more school board triumphs, increasing his total number of victories to 24.
DeSantis promoted his non-partisan education board endorsements by going on a statewide “Education Agenda Tour” before the Aug. 23 primary, despite the fact that seats on school boards are non-partisan. Prior to the recent wave of parents protesting against COVID regulations like school lockdowns and progressive curricula, elected officials rarely became involved in school board elections.
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Even though DeSantis didn’t support them, some candidates were able to win thanks to the support of political action committees and parental rights organizations. Moms For Liberty was one well-known organization that was instrumental in the nationwide parental rights movement and supported 12 candidates in Florida.
The 1776 PAC, which opposes the teaching of critical race theory in schools, also supported 49 candidates in 21 counties across the Sunshine State. In the runoff polls on Tuesday, five of the six DeSantis-backed school board candidates faced opposition from the Florida Democratic Party. These five DeSantis-backed candidates all prevailed in their elections.
Jackie Rosario, a re-elected member of the Indian River County District 2 school board, said DeSantis backed parents at a time when their voices were being “snuffed out” at school board meetings. His support was quite helpful, Rosario stated. “I know Charlie Crist endorsed my opponent, but that didn’t work, so it depends on the elected official,” the candidate said.
Florida’s Republican candidate for governor On November 8, 2022, Ron DeSantis waves to the crowd at an election night watch party held at the Tampa Convention Center in Florida.
On November 8, 2022, Republican candidate for governor of Florida Ron DeSantis waves to the crowd at a watch party at the Tampa Convention Center.
Cindy Spray, a candidate for the Manatee County District 2 school board, said, “I believe elected officials made the decision to get involved with local school board contests because of some of the delicate themes that were being taught to elementary students behind a closed door of the classroom.”
Spray, who had the backing of Moms For Liberty and DeSantis, declared that she “would urge elected officials to keep active with school systems all around our country.”
They were forced to support candidates who shared their views, she continued, and I don’t think they had an option but to do so.
With more than 51% of the vote, Lee County District 1 school board candidate Sam Fisher said, “I certainly believe, elected officials have the right to utilize their First Amendment right and back candidates that reflect their ideals.” Fisher, who also had Moms For Liberty’s support, acknowledged that DeSantis’ support was helpful to his campaign.
Al Hernandez, a candidate for the Pasco County District 1 school board, stated that “electing authorities participating in school or other campaigns is an easy method for voters to have a general understanding of what those individuals stand for or what sort of people they are.
“It might be challenging for voters to form a solid impression of the candidate or their beliefs in these non-partisan races. We aren’t able to spread our message as readily since these campaigns often don’t have the same funding as higher ticket races “After defeating James Washington, who was supported by the Democrats, with 65% of the vote, Hernandez remarked.
He kept going, “For voters, endorsements function like a cheat sheet. The support of an elected figure is significant if you like them and believe in their judgment. It’s not a replacement for conducting research on a candidate, but it’s a good place to start.” With the support of DeSantis and Moms for Liberty, Jamie Haynes defeated Democrat-backed Albert L. Bouie to win re-election to the Volusia County District 1 school board.
One of the victors, Stephanie Bussin, a member of the Hendry County District 4 school board, is in the lead with 13 more votes, but the result has not yet been formally announced because the slim margin could prompt a recount. Bussin, who was also supported by Moms For Liberty, said, “I don’t know if I would’ve gone this far without DeSantis’ help. This was really a tough race.”
In order to determine whether the current 0.06% lead Bussin now holds falls below the 0.05% automatic recount threshold, the canvassing board will still examine signature discrepancies and voting objections. If so, a computer recount will be conducted at noon on Tuesday, November 15. It would be possible to invite both candidates to the recount.
Stephanie Meyers and Dawn Peters, candidates for the Pinellas County school board, were two other candidates who received support from Moms For Liberty but did not receive a DeSantis endorsement. DeSantis did not endorse any candidates after the primary in Brevard County, according to Moms for Liberty candidate Gene Trent on Fox News Digital.
“He remained out of our primary because we had four candidates, and three of them were conservative,” Senior Fellow at the American Federation for Children Corey DeAngelis responded to the success of the DeSantis-backed school board candidates. “His huge triumph on Tuesday night shows that promoting educational independence is not just morally admirable but also advantageous politically.
The unions that represented the system’s employees for far too long were the only powerful special interest groups in K–12 education. The children now have a union of their own, though: their parents.” The wins highlight the trend of parents around the nation paying greater attention to school boards by rejecting progressive curricula and literature they felt offensive.
In order to educate rather than indoctrinate, to oppose the inclusion of critical race theory in the curriculum, to protect parents’ rights to transparency in the curriculum, and to keep schools open and reject lockdowns are all part of DeSantis’ education platform. He also favors boosting workforce development, raising teacher salaries, and promoting civics education at a high level.
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