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GOP Must Build on 2022 School Board Victories

AMAC Exclusive – By Andrew Abbott

School Board

The Georgia Senate runoff election last week marked the official end to the 2022 midterm elections – and the official start of the 2023 election season. While next year won’t have a national contest for control of Congress and will feature only a few state legislature races, there will still be dozens of local races that are nonetheless of vital importance for the future of the country. In school board races in particular, conservatives can look to build on some bright spots from this year in what was an otherwise a somewhat disappointing cycle.

Following the midterm elections, mainstream media outlets have pushed the narrative that parental rights candidates fared poorly in school board races. While it’s true that some candidates who emphasized parental rights and opposition to left-wing ideologies like Critical Race Theory and radical gender theory were defeated, those candidates – who were typically aligned with local Republican Party organizations – often still far out-performed other Republicans in their districts. In many other cases, however, conservative parents’ rights candidates did manage to win even when other Republicans lost, and in some cases flipped several high-profile school boards.

In Florida, conservative candidates emphasizing parents’ rights won victories in key areas like Sarasota and Miami-Dade counties that had previously been Democratic strongholds. Incumbent Republican Governor Ron DeSantis endorsed six school board candidates, all of whom won. Of those six, five faced off against candidates backed by the Florida Democratic Party in what were expected to be competitive contests. While the narrative emerging from Election Day has been Ron DeSantis’ strong performance helped these school board candidates down ballot, it could also be the case that popular grassroots support for school board candidates helped Ron DeSantis in the state overall.

In Texas, conservative candidates voicing opposition to CRT picked up seats on the state Board of Education, expanding the GOP majority. In Charleston County, South Carolina, another typically Democrat area, conservative candidates flipped the school board from Democrat control, another big victory.

Notably, these victories came in spite of conservatives being far outspent by liberal national teacher unions backing establishment candidates. One study from this past cycle found that, in California alone, teachers’ unions spent over $1.8 million supporting 287 candidates for school board elections, many of whom also received contributions from groups directly aligned with the Democrat Party. In one Los Angeles school board election, the California Teachers Association spent $330,600 on a single candidate – an unusually large sum given that most school board candidates spend less than $100,000 total on their races.

Conservatives had some much needed outside support of their own, however, from groups like Moms for Liberty. According to the group’s founder, roughly half of the candidates Moms for Liberty endorsed, most of whom were in competitive races, won this cycle. Given that most of these candidates were first-time politicians taking on incumbent school board members with better name ID, that’s an impressive success rate, especially considering conservative and Republican candidates hardly performed that well in competitive races for U.S. House and Senate seats.

Already, many conservative candidates who won last month have been making an impact and delivering on their campaign promises. In Florida, school board candidates backed by Governor DeSantis have fired several superintendents who supported teaching Critical Race Theory and insisted on continuing to implement unnecessary and potentially harmful COVID-19 restrictions. In Berkley County School District in South Carolina, a new Republican majority on the school board voted within hours of taking office to ban Critical Race Theory and set up a committee to review sexually explicit books and materials in school libraries. Just one week after Election Day, the Texas School Board voted to mandate that students use restroom and locker room facilities in accordance with their biological sex assigned at birth. Clearly seeing broad public support for the move, even the five Democrats on the board voted in favor of the policy.

Looking ahead to 2023 and even 2024, education and parental rights can continue to be winning issues for conservatives. While Democrats and the mainstream media are desperately attempting to downplay and discredit the effectiveness of Republicans’ message on education, the success of strong, well-funded candidates touting parents’ rights and getting woke ideologies out of the classroom cannot be ignored. For Republicans to rebound from a disappointing cycle, they would do well to double down on education, not retreat from it.

Andrew Abbott is the pen name of a writer and public affairs consultant with over a decade of experience in DC at the intersection of politics and culture.


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bnbrussell
12 days ago

Ev’ry time i hear “there wasn’t a ‘red wave’ “, even from our beloved real-President Trump, it makes me want to puke and scream:

…There WAS a ‘red wave’ (!) …

…but it was STOLEN!!!

Larkenson
1 month ago

Our schools teach White students that they are immoral and contemptible if they don’t support the White Genocide that’s being carried out by massive third-world immigration and FORCED assimilation i.e diversity in EVERY White country and ONLY White countries.
Their teachers never tell them, “White self-hatred is SICK!!!“
Those teachers claim to be anti-racist. What they are is anti-White.
Anti-racist is a code word for anti-White.

William Boylan
1 month ago

“. . . in accordance with their biological sex assigned at birth.” Really? Assigned?

PaulE
1 month ago

It’s NOT like the GOP has a shortage of issues that it could have campaigned on in 2022 or looking forward to 2024. Here’s a very short and incomplete list of some of them:

1) The Economy – from the man-made 40 year highs in inflation to the corresponding higher interest rates

2) The wide open southern border flooding the country with millions more illiterate or severly under-educated people that will be a permanent drain on our taxpayers and overall economy

3) The disaster of Afghanistan and its impact in U.S. standing around the world

4) Our over-reliance on China for EVERYTHING

5) Yes, the school issues discussed in the article above

6) The intentional weakening of our armed forces that poses a national security concern for the country

7) The rise in drug deaths in the United States due to Item 2

I could go on, but you get the idea. We had and still have a LOT of issues that we COULD have campaigned on both in 2022 and looking forward towards 2024. It is NOT like we lack issues or if we just just focus on one specific issue, like this article seems to suggest, we will have a cake walk of an election in 2024. Understand that what we view as problems that need to be addressed, the other side views either successes or positive features of the Democrat agenda. Stop thinking the other half of the country shares our values and concerns. They don’t! There is no well of untapped voters out there, that if we just articulate things better, we will suddenly win by landslides in the future. Every election will, at best, be a long, hard slog in any area that is NOT majority leaning Republican.

We also have the unspoken issue that none of these type articles want to address: The new style of voting that the Democrats managed to get the country to adopt. The 2005 Carter-Baker report did an excellent job of laying out why such a system SHOULD NEVER be implemented in this or any other country. Yet low and behold we foolishly decided in 2020 to embrace it. If that system remains in place, it will be extremely difficult for Republicans to win any national elections going forward. Which is precisely as Democrats intended.

Rik
1 month ago
Reply to  PaulE

As usual, I ALWAYS TOTALLY AGREE with ALL YOUR COMMENTS!

Philip Hammersley
1 month ago
Reply to  PaulE

Spot on! SUPPOSEDLY there was some list of GOP proposals similar to Newt’s Contract for America. .Did ANYONE ever hear it in a commercial or see it on media?

PaulE
1 month ago

Yes there was Philip. Newt originally expected to have the so-called New Contract for America all sewn up and ready to be presented to the people for ALL the Republican candidates to run on by April or May of this year. Unfortunately, he encountered significant pushback from both McConnell and McCarthy, who did NOT want to commit to any specific, short-term deliverables for congressional Republicans. In other words, nothing the American people could measure and evaluate the performance of GOP members in Congress on.

Discussions and negotiations between Newt and the two GOP congressional leaders dragged on into late spring, then summer and finally fall of this year. McConnell wouldn’t budge on anything nor agree to sign onto anything by late September. McCarthy would only sign onto something that contained no specifics and was just a vague outline of GOP principles. By mid September, it was clear from various TV interviews that Newt was doing, that he was upset over the lack of either McConnell or McCarthy to commit to anything of substance and that months had been lost to the effort. The watered down document was finally released to the public in late September or early October with no real fanfair. McCarthy actually did ONE lone photo op to annouce it. It essentially said nothing of any consequence and was quickly forgotten. Those are the GOP leaders that will be heading up the Republicans in the new Congress when it gavels into session next month.

Max
1 month ago
Reply to  PaulE

The RINOs don’t want the change since they continue to side with the Left Dems. Nothing truly will be in the next two years and everything will continue to slide downhill.

Patriot Will
1 month ago

Republicans need to develop better talking points which allow more Americans to appreciate that critical race theory is disturbingly hateful and racist. Unbelievably, many Americans are still sticking their heads in the sand and pleading ignorance to the horrible anti-human teachings of CRT. CRT is an enemy of liberty and freedom. CRT is significantly anti-American. CRT is demeaning and unethical to those who believe that a person’s effort and competence is of primary importance, and his/her skin color is nothing more than a physical genetic trait. A person should be respected for his/her behaviors and abilities, not for his/her physical appearance.

William C Smith
1 month ago
Reply to  Patriot Will

Republican representatives elected to public office need to PERFORM, when they get there–not talk all the time. Republican voters need to demand more service and accountability from their representatives, not merely send checks to the fund-raising factories in Merrifield, VA.

anna hubert
1 month ago
Reply to  Patriot Will

So do I but question still remains will they or won’t they do their duty

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