Two lawmakers want to make Florida's school board races partisan

Two Republicans—Sen. Joe Gruters and Sen. Spencer Roach—filed similar proposals.

click to enlarge A Pinellas County school board meeting on Aug. 24, 2021. - Dave Decker
Dave Decker
A Pinellas County school board meeting on Aug. 24, 2021.

Last night, the News Service of Florida reported that "Sen. Joe Gruters, a Sarasota Republican who also serves as chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, on Thursday filed a measure that seeks to turn school board elections into partisan contests."

The proposal (SJR 244) "aims to place a constitutional amendment on the November 2022 ballot allowing voters to choose whether school board elections should be partisan," according to NSF, which noted that Fort Myers Republican Rep. Spencer Roach. filed a similar proposal (HJR 35) on Sunday.

As most of us know, Florida's school board elections are currently non-partisan races, but that hasn't let some anti-vaxx candidates who sometimes push anti-vaxx misinformation and QAnon conspiracy theories from dais from applying to run in Tampa Bay.

I wonder what party they'd run under.

Making school board races partisan is the next logical step, however, in the illogical slippery slope that's found right-wing activists swarming local school board meetings in Pinellas and other communities across the U.S.

The annual 60-day legislative session begins on Jan. 11, and legislative committee weeks start Monday—we can't wait.

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About The Author

Ray Roa

Read his 2016 intro letter and disclosures from 2022 and 2021. Ray Roa started freelancing for Creative Loafing Tampa in January 2011 and was hired as music editor in August 2016. He became Editor-In-Chief in August 2019. Past work can be seen at Suburban Apologist, Tampa Bay Times, Consequence of Sound and The...
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