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Conservative groups, politicians led US school board candidates to victory

The school board is figuring out how to implement the Parents Bill of Rights. (WPEC)
The school board is figuring out how to implement the Parents Bill of Rights. (WPEC)
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Right-leaning political figures and organizations publicly supported school board candidates this year, further emphasizing what they felt was at stake in the traditionally quiet local races.

Florida candidates who had Gov. Ron DeSantis on their side may have reaped the most rewards. All six of the candidates DeSantis backed were victorious in Tuesday's midterm elections.

Jacqueline Rosario, Cindy Spray, Al Hernandez, Jamie Haynes, Stephanie Busin and Sam Fisher all participated in runoff elections from August, and all now have a seat on their respective school boards.

National parent and education advocacy groups threw both endorsements and funding into races they deemed crucial.

The 1776 Project, a conservative political action committee, endorsed candidates in nearly a dozen states, including Florida, Texas and Michigan. The committee raised more than $3 million through mid-October, according to Federal Election Commission filings.

All of the candidates the 1776 Project backed in Texas won their school board races Tuesday. While the committee did not see any other state sweeps, candidates they endorsed in various districts prevailed, including in Brandywine, Mi., where the 1776 Project says it "flipped" the school board "from liberal to conservative."

Conservative parent advocacy group Moms for Liberty endorsed nearly 300 candidates across 15 states this year.

The group celebrated sweeps in Cape May, N.J., Tipton, In. and Iredell, N.C. Wins were also announced in Pinellas County, Fl., New Hanover, N.C. and Berkeley County, S.C. Victories have not been shared in the 11 other states Moms for Liberty had its eyes on.

Local organizations honed in on their respective areas, with some electing to focus more on the root issues.

Reform California, a political action committee dedicated to "holding government accountable," refrained from endorsing specific candidates and instead worked to get preferred candidates on ballots. The committee offered workshops to "recruit, train, mentor and support good candidates for school boards," while also accepting monetary contributions from the public.

Advocacy group The American Council also trained school board hopefuls through eCourses and workshops, and it spoke of promising outcomes Wednesday. The three Dry Creek, California School Board candidates the group publicly backed topped the election results.

DeSantis and many of the organizations that weighed in during this year's school board races shared several common goals. However, it appears the one goal overwhelmingly at the front of their minds was restoring parental rights in education they felt had been lost.

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In many states, voters agreed with that goal.

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