5 things to know about 2024 presidential candidate Ron DeSantis

Jennifer Pippin, president of the Indian River County chapter of Moms for Liberty, attends Jacqueline Rosario's campaign event in Vero Beach, Florida, on October 16, 2022.
Jennifer Pippin, president of the Indian River County chapter of Moms for Liberty, attends Jacqueline Rosario's campaign event in Vero Beach, Florida, on October 16, 2022. | Giorgio Viera/AFP via Getty Images

He supported 30 school board candidates, most of whom won their races

DeSantis drew national headlines when he signed the Parental Rights in Education bill into law last year.

Derided by critics as the "Don't Say Gay Bill," the law prevents school officials from discussing topics related to sexual orientation and gender identity with students in kindergarten through third grade. 

He also signed a bill banning critical race theory from being taught in Florida schools, including the idea that "one race, color, national origin, or sex are morally superior to members of another race, color, national origin, or sex" and that "a person, by virtue of his or her race, color, national origin, or sex is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously."

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The push to preserve parental rights has led conservative grassroots organizations such as the 1776 Project PAC to focus heavily on school board elections.

For his part, DeSantis supported 30 school board candidates seeking office in school board elections last year, sharing a social media post on primary election day urging voters in his state to support candidates "committed to the student-first principles of the DeSantis Education Agenda."

All but six of them won, suggesting DeSantis' endorsed candidates had an 80% success rate.

DeSantis-backed candidates Armor Persons and Sam Fisher won seats on the Lee County School Board, April Carney and Charlotte Joyce secured spots on the Duval County School Board and Al Hernandez won a school board race in Pasco County. Two candidates supported by DeSantis, Roberto Alonso and Monica Colucci, won school board elections in the most populous county in the state: Miami-Dade County

Three of DeSantis' preferred candidates won seats on the Sarasota County Board of Education: Tim Enos, Robyn Marinelli and Bridget Ziegler. An additional three of his favored candidates won races in Manatee County: Cindy Spray, Chad Choate and Richard Tatem. Only one of his two endorsed candidates in Monroe County, Darren Horan, won his race.

Similarly, only one of his two preferred candidates in Volusia County won her race: Jamie Haynes. DeSantis also had a 50% success rate in Flagler County, where Christy Chong won and Jill Woolbright lost.

DeSantis-supported Erin Skipper won a seat in Clay County and Phil Leary secured a seat on the Putnam County Board of Education. Two of his three endorsed candidates won school board races in Hillsborough County, while Jacqueline Rosario came out on top in her Indian River County School Board election. Other victorious DeSantis-backed candidates are Jennifer Russell in Martin County, Megan Wright in Brevard County and Rick Nolte in Polk County. 

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at:

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