DeSantis won the majority of school board candidates supported in Florida.
Miami — Florida Governor Ron DeSantis was not on the ballot in Tuesday’s first vote. Neither was any other big-name Republican. But it appears Republican voters have gone to the polls anyway, weighing in on a somewhat unusual new political battlefield: the school board race.
Like other Republicans across the country, Mr DeSantis has focused his political brand on education issues related to the coronavirus pandemic and what is taught in schools. Before elementary, he did something no former Florida governor had ever done: He took sides in nonpartisan school board races.
Unofficial county election results show that almost all of the candidates Mr DeSantis supported won. The candidate’s victory is expected to engage conservative priorities at county-level boards, which have sparked increased public scrutiny in recent years, starting with school closures and masked mandates and how teachers handle gender identity and race matters. handle.
“Florida has led with purpose and the conviction that our school system is about education, not education,” Mr DeSantis posted on Twitter on Tuesday afternoon, along with an image of his 30 “pro-guardian” candidates. did. At least 20 won on Tuesday, and five went into the runoff.
Some people were demanding re-election. Others were challenging board members or running for open seats. After Mr DeSantis joined the race, the Florida Democratic Party also backed his slate.
Republicans poured money into school board campaigns, turning earlier slumber competitions into pitch races. On Sunday, Mr. DeSantis and several candidates held simultaneous events in three counties – the “DeSantis Education Agenda Tour,” he called it.
“Florida is the state where the wake goes to die!” Mr DeSantis said at a stop at Union Hall, a firefighter in Doral, Fla., west of Miami.
At the event, Monica Colucci, a nonpartisan candidate for the Miami-Dade County School Board, condemned the “dangerous, radical ideologies that are creeping into our classrooms.” He swore, “We get our school boards back!”
Ms Colucci won, ousting a longtime incumbent.