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DeSantis-backed candidates overwhelmingly won school board races in Florida

FILE - Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis attends a media event regarding the 2022 Florida Python Challenge, June 16, 2022, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)
FILE - Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis attends a media event regarding the 2022 Florida Python Challenge, June 16, 2022, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)
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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis put his political weight behind numerous school board candidates across the state, and it appears that decision paid off.

Twenty-five out of 30 school board candidates who enjoyed DeSantis's support won their elections, the governor announced at a press conference on Wednesday.

DeSantis believes the election results show that parents of schoolchildren in Florida want change.

Parents are sick of the nonsense when it comes to education," DeSantis said at the press conference.

Many of the candidates who won their school board elections in Florida were endorsed by the 1776 Project PAC, an organization focused on replacing perceived liberal school boards with more conservative ones.

Following the elections, the PAC announced on Twitter that Miami-Dade County is now "the LARGEST county in America with a conservative school board majority."

Ryan Girdusky, the founder of the 1776 Project PAC, told Breitbart News that his group "saw massive election victories all throughout the state of Florida." Girdusky, like DeSantis, believes the victories are in large part thanks to parents in Florida seeking change in their children's schools.

It shows the desire of parents and residents across the country for some normalcy in our education system, and that means pushing against transgender ideology, critical race theory, critical gender ideology, and equity which destroys merit in education," Girdusky reportedly said. "The 1776 Project PAC hopes to take these successes across the country,"

School board positions in Florida are officially nonpartisan, but the issues mentioned by Girdusky have been on the minds of American parents for a while now. In Florida, DeSantis signed the "Parental Rights in Education Act" that critics dubbed the "Don't Say Gay Bill." It prohibits discussion of gender identity and sexuality in classrooms third grade and younger.

Many critics voiced concerns that the legislation was anti-LGBT, but supporters were adamant that such subjects should stay out of the classroom.

Critical race theory, another political hot topic, faces criticism that it teaches anti-American sentiments and makes white students feel guilty for their skin color. Supporters of CRT either claim it simply tells the truth about American history and its innate imperialistic tendency to oppress and enslave indigenous populations, or claim it isn't actually being taught in U.S. classrooms.

Either way, those political issues and concerns bled into school board meetings across the country, where they were sometimes met with calls for increased security. As DeSantis and Girdusky suggest, parents in Florida apparently wanted to see less pushback on those issues from school boards and decided to elect more conservative candidates as a result.

Back in May, the National School Board Association admitted it should not have taken sides when it came to arguments with parents over coronavirus restrictions, mask mandates and critical race theory.

One of the conservative candidates who enjoyed both DeSantis's and the 1176 Project's endorsements reportedly says that she thinks the governor "shined a light on the school boards," leading to the conservative election sweep. Bridget Ziegler won her race in Sarasota County, causing the school board's liberal majority to flip to conservative.

The reality is that you have people across the country and in the state who are engaged and aware that we are fed up." Ziegler told Just the News.

In one of her tweets celebrating her election victory, Ziegler claims "the community has spoken" and it is "crystal clear" they want a "reset" of the school boards in Florida.

"And that’s what they are going to get," Ziegler added.

DeSantis called upon his supporters to repeat their efforts this upcoming election season during a Wednesday appearance in Hialeah, Florida.

Freedom is on the line this November — and our bold agenda for parental rights in education, safe communities, a vibrant economy, and a protected environment is vital to keeping the state of Florida free," DeSantis said at the rally, according to a release.
Our state is worth fighting for," DeSantis added. "And I am calling on all Floridians to put on the full armor of God as we will fight tooth and nail to protect Florida from the destructive agenda of Joe Biden and his number one ally in Florida, Charlie Crist."

DeSantis also announced the "DeSantis Playbook," a "first-of-its-kind resource for Floridians that details the Governor’s Freedom Agenda that has made Florida a national leader for parental rights, law and order, environmental protection, and fiscally-sound economic policies."

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Those wanting to learn more about the playbook can, according to DeSantis's camp, visit

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