Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis had no primary opponent Tuesday, but he still won big.

At least 21 of 30 school board candidates endorsed by the Republican won their races, including four of seven who were pitted against Democrat-backed opponents.

Of the remaining nine, four of DeSantis’ picks still have a chance to attain elected office via a run-off.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis
At least 21 candidates backed by Gov. DeSantis won their election.
Reuters/Marco Bello
Sarasota District 1 School Board candidate Bridget Ziegler and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis
Bridget Ziegler said she believes her community wants a “reset” on education after the election results came out.
MATT HOUSTON/HERALD-TRIBUNE / US

The DeSantis candidates all ran races emphasizing parental rights, school choice and complete transparency about what their children are learning, Politico reported.

In Sarasota County, which defied the governor by continuing a mask mandate in schools last year, candidates backed by DeSantis won all three school board seats up for grabs. One of those victorious candidates, Bridget Ziegler, is married to the vice chair of Florida’s Republican Party.

“The Community has spoken & it is crystal clear — they are demanding a reset of the School Board,” Ziegler wrote on Twitter after her win. “And that’s what they are going to get.”

Conservative candidates also saw success in Miami-Dade County, where another board had kept mask requirements for schools in place. In one race, GOP-supported educator Monica Colucci defeated 24-year-old school board veteran Marta Perez.

DeSantis, considered by many to be a top contender for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, has planted himself firmly in the middle of the culture war on issues like COVID restrictions and gender, LGBTQ studies and sexuality being taught to young children. 

His endorsed candidates echo the concerns of many New Yorkers, who have told The Post they’re sick of “woke, failing” schools. About 50,000 students have left the city’s public school system over the past two years.

Monica Colucci
Monica Colucci won her race against a school board veteran Marta Perez.
Facebook/Monica Colucci for School Board
Robyn A. Marinelli,
Robyn A. Marinelli and her team celebrated her win in District 4.
THOMAS BENDER/HERALD-TRIBUNE

“Freedom is on the line this November — and our bold agenda for parental rights in education, safe communities, a vibrant economy, and a protected environment is vital to keeping the state of Florida free,” DeSantis said in a statement released by his reelection campaign.

“Our state is worth fighting for, and I am calling on all Floridians to put on the full armor of God as we will fight tooth and nail to protect Florida from the destructive agenda of Joe Biden and his number one ally in Florida, Charlie Crist.”

DeSantis will face off against the Democratic congressman — and former Republican governor — in the November general election after Crist defeated state Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried in Tuesday’s primary.



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