Voters headed to the polls in the wake of Florida Republicans passing education-centered legislation like the “Parental Rights in Education Act” in the past year.
Conservatives candidates won in counties like Miami-Dade, Duval, Sarasota, Clay, and Martin. In Miami-Dade, where the school district encompasses about 334,000 students, Roberto Alonso and Monica Colucci both earned victories in the populous district.
Both candidates were endorsed by Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) and the grassroots 1776 Project PAC, an organization that supports conservative school board candidates across the nation. Alonso handily won an open seat on the board, while Colucci knocked out an over 20-year-incumbent member in a tight race.
“Both of our candidates in Miami Dade County, Florida just WON their elections, flipping the school board conservative,” the 1776 Project Pac announced on Twitter. “Miami Dade is now the LARGEST county in America with a conservative school board majority.”
The candidates in Miami-Dade were also supported by the grassroots organization Moms For Liberty, a group fighting for more parental involvement in local education. In the wake of wins across the state, the group said, “2022 IS THE YEAR OF THE PARENT and we are just getting started.”
Conservatives also celebrated victories in Sarasota, where more DeSantis-backed candidates won their elections.
“Sarasota School Board had a 3-2 liberal majority,” said DeSantis re-election rapid response director Christina Pushaw. “Today [DeSantis] endorsed candidates won and flipped the school board so it’s now 4-1 anti wokes indoctrination and pro parental rights.”
The candidates, Bridget Ziegler, Robyn Marinelli, and Timothy Enos, were also backed by the 1776 Project Pac.
“Sarasota County – WE did it!!! The Community has spoken & it is crystal clear – they are demanding a reset of the School Board. And that’s what they are going to get,” Ziegler tweeted following her victory.
She said that the the school board would be prioritizing education for the students, keeping parents involved, and respecting teachers.
The 1776 Project PAC also celebrated victory in Clay County, saying that the “school board is now a 3-2 conservative majority. Congrats to Erin Skipper, Michele Hanson, and Ashley Gilhousen.”
Commenting on the success of conservative candidates across Florida school boards, former AP editor Ted Bridis said that the victories “will make easier than ever to reimagine classroom politics in public schools.”