Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has made national headlines for his efforts to address the “woke” priorities of public school boards across his state. Ahead of Tuesday’s primary elections, he urged Florida voters to make their voices heard by voting far-left board members and replacing them with conservative candidates.
It appears that his campaign was effective, with 25 of the 30 candidates that received in endorsement going on to win their respective races. In some cases, the elections were decisive enough to deliver a conservative majority to previously progressive school boards.
Today is Election Day for crucial school board races across our state. Florida has led with purpose and conviction that our school system is about education, not indoctrination.
These 30 candidates are committed to the student-first principles of the DeSantis Education Agenda. pic.twitter.com/chcwY3r5Vo
— Ron DeSantis (@RonDeSantisFL) August 23, 2022
One notable example could be found in Sarasota County, where a school board that had represented a 3-2 liberal majority abruptly shifted to a 4-1 conservative majority after the results of Tuesday’s races had been tallied.
Miami-Dade County similarly flipped from progressive to conservative, and in the process it became the nation’s largest county to have a right-leaning school board.
In the days leading up to the election, DeSantis used his bully pulpit to express the importance of local races — particularly those that would help shape school boards across the state.
During a campaign stop last week, the governor said: “Parental rights, curriculum transparency, and classrooms free of woke ideology are all on the ballot this election, and it starts with school board elections.”
Brevard County school board candidate Megan Wright was among the more than two dozen conservatives who received an endorsement from the governor and she campaigned on a platform that echoed his push for more parental involvement in school curricula.
“The school board believes they are the parent to the children, and that’s not their role whatsoever,” she said.
Wright also set her sights on controversial race- and gender-based lessons, specifically denouncing those that “focus on one race as an oppressor and one race as an oppressed.”
Incumbent Indian River County school board member Jacqueline Rosario said she secured a DeSantis endorsement after opposing mask mandates in the district’s schools. She noted that the governor’s support clearly carries a lot of weight with many Florida voters.
Referencing one voter’s remarks, Rosario explained: “She said, because I’ve been endorsed by him, ‘You have my vote.’ She didn’t even ask my stance on issues or why I’m running.”