A new report from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune highlighted some key Democratic wins in Republican dominated counties throughout the state. Democrats flipped 5 school board seats across the state in the August primary, 4 of which were in red counties. The report outlines how these flips are indicative of the FDP’s commitment to organizing everywhere throughout Florida, not just blue areas, and how these wins are a positive sign for Democratic margins in November.
“While school board races are nonpartisan, Florida Democrats weighed in with money and get-out-the-vote efforts that yielded wins for favored candidates during the Aug. 18 primaries in at least four counties carried by President Donald Trump in 2016. “
“In Democratic-leaning Broward County, get-out-the-vote efforts focused heavily on mail ballots helped unseat a six-year incumbent first appointed by former Republican Gov. Rick Scott.”
“Among those defeated were Sarasota County School Board member Eric Robinson, a former county Republican chair and business partner of the state’s GOP chairman, state Sen. Joe Gruters. Robinson was beaten by Tom Edwards, a political newcomer who campaigned heavily on support for traditional public schools.
“In Brevard County, another incumbent school board member, Tina Descovich, also was unseated by a first-time candidate, Jennifer Jenkins, who also said she’d fight against the push for more private school vouchers and the expansion of for-profit charter schools.”
“Democratic-backed School Board candidates also won in St. Johns County, where Republicans outnumber Democrats two-to-one, and Santa Rosa County, where the GOP holds a three-to-one edge among voters.”
“A more than 40% increase in voting by registered Democrats over the 2016 primary, compared to a modest 9% rise among Republicans in Brevard County, may have made the difference.”
“Stronger Democratic turnout was the pattern in the GOP counties where the party won its targeted school board seats.”
‘“Democrats take education seriously, but Republicans didn’t pay attention. They’re not engaged,” she [Republican school board nominee in Brevard county, Tina Descovich] said.