The bongino report

Local School Board Races Garner Interest and Funding

PUNTA GORDA, Fla.– Local school board races have never been more prominent than in this election cycle because parents are “reacting strongly to what is being taught in classrooms,” according to a senior fellow at The Heritage Foundation.

Jonathan Butcher, the Will Skillman Fellow in Education at The Heritage Foundation says there is “renewed interest” in school board elections because parents are having “strong reactions” to what is being taught in the classrooms and believe that the schools should be “representative of their values … and of their community.”

When they see something that runs afoul of their beliefs, “they’ll speak up and say, ‘hey this doesn’t represent me, this is not what I want for my kids’,” he said.

“I think that parents have always been interested in what’s going on in K12 schools,” Butcher told The Epoch Times. “There’s always been something in which parents have wanted to voice their opinions on.”

Jonathan Butcher is a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation. (Courtesy, The Heritage Foundation)

Bridget Ziegler was recently reelected to her Sarasota County school board seat and agrees that since she initially “got into politics” in 2014, she has seen the interest in school board races increase.

“In my race in 2014, we had 50,001 total voters in the August election,” Ziegler told The Epoch Times. “I went to a runoff and then it went up to 137,369 [voters].”

She went on to say that the 2020 turnout was even better as a record 230,000 turned out to vote in local elections. She said she believes it is because people are tired of schools interfering with moral issues that should be taught in the home that has driven the rise in voter turnout and the results of the elections leaning more to the conservative side.

Ziegler said that along with historic record voter turnouts, political action committees have pumped a lot of money into local elections because local elections affect “people’s everyday lives,” coupled with conservative candidates having to “fight a media machine and a liberal teachers union.”

“In my race, I was just combating a media machine and the [teachers] union so I had to raise more money, but I never saw any kind of national interest,” she explained. “This is the first time in the election cycle I have seen that now. Unions in the past would take national money and bring it to their local state or local chapter.”

The reality, she said, is that conservatives are “taking the gloves off and we’re gonna play ball.”

Ziegler said that sticking to policy issues will win conservative seats on school boards and will catapult conservative candidates to state and federal posts because people are now motivated to stop a WOKE agenda, especially in schools.

Bridget Ziegler is a Sarasota County School Board member. (Courtesy, Bridget Ziegler)

“That’s how they saw what was happening,” she said. “They were activated because when you mess with someone’s kids, you’re dealing with a whole different level.”

She added that


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