In Sarasota County, in the upcoming School Board election, our kids and schools are being used as political pawns. As soon as Ron DeSantis and other GOP operatives injected themselves into this local race, political campaigning here reached a new low: Inflammatory hate messages disguised as mobile billboard ads began to be targeted against the highly qualified and knowledgeable School Board Candidate Lauren Kurnov.
This is not politics as usual. It’s certainly not about education or the candidates’ positions for our schools. It is Hate Speech delivered on the sides of roaming trucks.
Robyn Marinelli, Kurnov’s opponent, is no stranger to hate groups. This past June she had to cancel a campaign event in Venice when it was learned that members of the terrorist group the Proud Boys were listed as VIP attendees. Marinelli claimed she knew nothing about the Proud Boys. Expect her to also claim she knows nothing about the traveling hate billboards either.
This ugly politicization of a school board race has no place in Sarasota. We, across the political spectrum, have always valued a quality public education for our students, businesses, and communities. We deserve better and must denounce these hate-driven tactics.
As Kurnov’s website notes, “…Lauren is committed to running a positive, no-nonsense campaign that focuses solely on the success of our schools, not fighting a proxy battle in a culture war. She will use her expertise in connecting students to career opportunities and workforce development to ensure that our local businesses have the talent they need for a bright economic future….”
That’s how she always has and will continue to run her campaign. She won’t be intimidated or baited by such tactics.
JoAnne DeVries, Chair
Sarasota County Democratic Party
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