Tallahassee Democrat | By Steven Walker | February 22, 2023
In Florida’s 2022 elections, nearly 30 conservatives backed by endorsements from Gov. Ron DeSantis won their school board races. Now, the governor is targeting 14 more seats he hopes to flip in 2024.
During a strategy session Tuesday with Florida House Speaker Paul Renner, Florida GOP Chairman Christian Ziegler, and Tina Descovich and Tiffany Justice, co-founders of the conservative activist group Moms for Liberty, DeSantis announced his 2024 school board target list. The list included 14 Florida school board members DeSantis said do not protect parental rights and or shield students from “woke” ideologies. Christian Ziegler’s wife Bridget Ziegler is the chairwoman of the Sarasota School Board and also a co-founder of Moms for Liberty who was endorsed by DeSantis in her re-election campaign last year.
DeSantis is targeting Ziegler’s colleague on the Sarasota School Board, Tom Edwards, the lone remaining Democrat after two other Republicans he backed last year, Tim Enos and Robyn Marinelli, shifted the balance of power from liberal-leaning to conservative.
Edwards has previously described himself as “woke”, a word that has been used by the governor and conservatives to target progressive activism.
“Florida is where woke goes to die,” DeSantis said in his January inauguration speech.
Here are the Florida school board members named by DeSantis:
Brevard County School Board
Duval County School Board
Kelly Coker and Cindy Pearson
Hillsborough County School Board
Nadia Combs and Jessica Vaughn
Indian River County School Board
Peggy Jones and Brian Barefoot
Miami-Dade County School Board
Pinellas County School Board
Laura Hine and Eileen Long
St. Lucie County School Board
Volusia County School Board
Anita Burnette and Carl Persis
Sarasota County School Board