100+ School Boards Flip Red Nationwide
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While no overwhelming red wave emerged from the midterm national races, conservative groups involved in local school board races saw encouraging results.
Education certainly mattered to voters on the local level and that resulted in school boards in several states winning conservative majorities.
Supporters see those wins as part of a larger trend giving Republicans the upper hand in this issue.
The 2022 midterms follow two years of post-pandemic backlash.
"Last year, almost everything we got on our tip line was about race. This year, probably about 75% is related to gender. A lot of the questions now are about social-emotional learning, data mining, and surveys were given without parental consent," said Nicole Neily of Parents Defending Education.
Traditionally nonpartisan bodies, local school boards have turned fiercely political.
A swell of largely first-time candidates got into the game this cycle hoping to overturn school policies and give parents more of a voice.
Donations from Republican groups poured into their campaigns also made a difference.
"We were just really excited to see the results and we think it's just the beginning of this wonderful parental rights movement around the country," said Tiffany Justice of the organization Moms for Liberty.
On Nov. 8, it led school boards to flip in at least a half dozen states including Michigan, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, New Jersey, and Florida.
"Every school board seat we flip makes a huge impact on their communities," said Aiden Buzzetti of the 1776 Project PAC.
Recently front and center in the ongoing culture war, Florida made headlines again as Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis got directly involved by making numerous school board endorsements.
Since last year, at least 100 school boards nationwide have turned red with more candidates waiting in the wings.
"With every success, we get 10 more people to put their reputation on the line. Get their names on the ballot and make changes in their communities," said Buzzetti.
In this election cycle, these outside groups made an impact. For example, Moms for Liberty backed more than 250 candidates, and more than half won. Of the 50 or so candidates endorsed by the 1776 Project, about one-third were successful.
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