Let’s talk about the elephant in the room—or should we say, the elephants that just got booted out of it.
The GOP, which put transgender policies in the educational crosshairs, just took a hit where it hurts: the ballot box. Across five states, voters said a resounding “nope” to the anti-trans agenda that’s been stirring up local school boards.
Virginia’s Wake-Up Call
Remember when Virginia was all about those school culture wars? Well, it looks like the tide’s turning. Despite Governor Glenn Youngkin riding the wave of a 2021 victory, his party’s candidates just faced a wall of resistance.
Moms for Liberty, the group that’s been all gung-ho on conservative education policies, saw their endorsed candidates take a tumble. We’re talking a majority of them biting the dust in school board races.
And get this: Virginia Democrats didn’t just win; they flipped the state House, held onto the Senate, and even elected the state’s first transgender state Senator, Danica Roem. Talk about a statement!
Tonight, Fairfax County voters were clear: they want safe and inclusive schools with world-class educators and equitable access to the opportunities every student needs to succeed. I am grateful to have earned their trust for another term and eager to advance these priorities. pic.twitter.com/IbmmsBLzBT
— Karl Frisch (@KarlFrisch) November 8, 2023
Iowa’s Reality Check
Over in Iowa, the Linn-Mar school district became a battleground with all the drama of a prime-time show. But when the votes were counted, the candidates backed by Moms for Liberty found themselves out of luck. The district, which had been under fire from some pretty high-profile Republicans for its support of transgender rights, decided to stick to its guns.
M4L Endorsees were:
Patty Sereg Alexander
— Keenan Crow (@KF_Crow) November 8, 2023
Pennsylvania’s Blue Sweep
Pennsylvania’s Central Bucks School District was another hotspot, with Dems sweeping the district races. This is in a county that’s been a real political tug-of-war, where the previous board had gone all out with policies like banning Pride flags from classrooms. But the voters had other ideas, and the school board’s now got a fresh, Democratic-endorsed face.
Ohio and Kansas Say “Next”
In Ohio’s Hamilton County, only two out of eight candidates endorsed by Moms for Liberty managed to secure a win. And in Kansas, the Shawnee Heights School Board kept its incumbents, showing the door to the conservative hopefuls who were all about those “parental rights.”
The Numbers Don’t Lie
Here’s a stat for you: This year alone, there have been 586 anti-trans bills introduced across 49 states. But the election results are speaking volumes—turns out, attacking transgender students isn’t the vote-getter some thought it was.
What’s the GOP to Do?
So, what’s the takeaway for the Grand Old Party? Maybe it’s time to rethink the playbook. With school board elections traditionally being nonpartisan, the clear rebuff of anti-trans candidates might just be a wake-up call that it’s time to shift gears.
In the end, it’s not just about who won or lost. It’s about what these results say about the American people and where we stand on the issues that really matter in our communities.
And if these elections are any indication, it seems like empathy and inclusivity might just be winning out over fear and division (at least in these states).
Martha A. Lavallie
Martha is a journalist with close to a decade of experience in uncovering and reporting on the most compelling stories of our time. Passionate about staying ahead of the curve, she specializes in shedding light on trending topics and captivating global narratives. Her insightful articles have garnered acclaim, making her a trusted voice in today's dynamic media landscape.