Details are coming out in drips and drabs, but Gov. Ron DeSantis is putting more than money behind his push to reshape Florida’s School Boards. He’s embarking on what’s being billed on the invitations as the “DeSantis Education Agenda Tour,” with stops already announced Aug. 21 in Miami-Dade, Sarasota and Volusia counties.
The pull intended for some of these events may be larger than just local folks for the handful of School Board races. The appearance in Ormond Beach, for instance, is listed as an event on the website for the Republican Federated Women of The Villages, which is roughly 75 miles or more than a 90-minute drive away.
“Please join Governor Ron DeSantis on his DeSantis Education Agenda Tour across the great state of Florida,” according to the EventBrite invitation for the Volusia County event. “Doors open promptly at 3:00 PM and will close at 5:00 PM. Attendance is limited and all tickets are first come, first served.”
DeSantis previously endorsed Fred Lowry and Jamie Haynes for the Volusia County School Board. He also gave his backing to Christy Chong and Jill Woolbright in Flagler County and Phil Leary in Putnam County. DeSantis picked two for Duval County School Board — April Carney and Charlotte Joyce — and one, Erin Skipper, for Clay County School Board.
The stop is set for Bruce Rossmeyer Harley-Davidson on U.S. 1. The Volusia County Republican Party shared the invite with the public Friday evening.
The Sarasota County event is scheduled to last 3-5 p.m., so it’s not clear when DeSantis will leave Florida’s west coast for its Atlantic coast in order to make both appearances, nor from an earlier stop in Doral to Sarasota.
The tour stop in Sarasota is at the Sahib Shrine Event Center on North Beneva Road.
“Who is ready to see Governor Ron DeSantis in Sarasota?” Sarasota County School Board member Bridget Ziegler said in a social media post. “Join Pro-Parents, Student First Governor Ron DeSantis and me at the DeSantis Education Tour in Sarasota, FL on Sunday, August 21st!
This RALLY will take place just days before the Sarasota County School Board Election on Tues, Aug 23rd. I hope to see you there!”
Along with Ziegler, DeSantis endorsed Timothy Enos and Robyn Marinelli for the Sarasota Board.
DeSantis starts out the afternoon in Miami-Dade, scheduled to appear for a 1-3 p.m. event at Miami-Dade Firefighters Local 1403 in Doral, where he’s backing Roberto Alonso and Monica Colucci.
Asked to explain the DeSantis position on getting involved in nonpartisan School Board races, First Lady Casey DeSantis told Moms for Liberty at their national summit that it was about helping like-minded candidates who aren’t used to the political sphere and getting their platform in front of voters.
“That’s really what it becomes, a name-recognition thing for a lot of folks, because there’s no political affiliation,” Casey DeSantis said at the time. “Sometimes you don’t know who you’re voting for. It’s hard to be able to find what their principles are, but you know if that is a DeSantis-backed candidate, there are nine things that individual believes in that align with both the Governor and I have to say about education.”