Most DeSantis-backed school board candidates in FL won in the 2022 elections

By: - November 17, 2022 6:20 pm

Classroom. Credit: Getty Images

Overall, 25 of 30 school board candidates backed by Gov. Ron DeSantis in 2022 came out as winners, pushing a conservative and controversial agenda for Florida’s public school system, according to preliminary local election results.

But whether those candidates will make a difference in the overall climate of the system is not yet clear.

DeSantis made waves by endorsing local school board races over the summer, which was generally unprecedented given that school board members campaign in non-partisan races.

And the governor campaigned to get his endorsed candidates elected. That included financial contributions, social media posts about the races, and speeches at campaign rallies, the Phoenix previously reported.

DeSantis’s Democratic opponent, former U.S. House Rep. Charlie Crist, endorsed seven of his own local school board candidates. Some of those candidates had already won or lost in the August primaries.

As of the Nov. 8 election, here are the winners from either DeSantis or Crist:

/In District 2 of Indian River County, DeSantis’ endorsed candidate and incumbent school board member Jacqueline Rosario beat  Crist’s candidate, Cindy Gibbs.

/Debbie Jordan won in District 4 in the Lee County School District, which was an endorsement from Crist.

/Also in Lee County, in District 1, DeSantis backed Sam Fisher, an attorney and small business owner, according to his campaign website.

/In Hendry County, DeSantis-backed Stephanie Busin, an incumbent in the District 4 race. That race was close but the supervisor of elections in Hendry said it did not constitute a recount.

/In Manatee County, Cindy Spray won in the District 2 race. She was backed by DeSantis.

/In Pasco County, Al Hernandez won in District 1. He is a Cuban immigrant who arrived in the U.S. as a teenager, according to his campaign website. He was backed by DeSantis.

/In Volusia County, incumbent Jamie Haynes won in the District 1 race. She was backed by DeSantis.

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Danielle J. Brown
Danielle J. Brown

Danielle J. Brown is a 2018 graduate of Florida State University, majoring in English with a focus in editing, writing, and media. While at FSU, she served as an editorial intern for International Program’s annual magazine, Nomadic Noles. Last fall, she fulfilled another editorial internship with Rowland Publishing, where she wrote for the Tallahassee Magazine, Emerald Coast Magazine, and 850 Business Magazine. She was born and raised in Tallahassee and reviews community theater productions for the Tallahassee Democrat. She spends her downtime traveling to all corners of Florida and beyond to practice lindy hop.

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