Florida voters support educational choice candidates

Tampa, Fla. (August 30, 2016) – The American Federation for Children Action Fund congratulates school choice champions on their success during Tuesday’s primary election. Democratic and Republican candidates supporting school choice were successful across the state, showing that Florida’s families believe it is their right to choose the best high quality school for their child, whether public, private, charter or virtual.

This was particularly apparent in Senate District 19, where Democratic school choice champion Darryl Rouson won narrowly. More than 1,800 registered Democratic voters in that district have at least one child who has benefited from the Florida tax credit scholarship program.

While there were many school choice champions who won their primaries tonight, the American Federation for Children Action Fund would like to congratulate the following candidates, in particular:

  • SD 19 – Darryl Rouson (D)
  • SD 38 – Daphne Campbell (D)
  • HD 16 – Jason Fischer (R)
  • HD 80 – Byron Donalds (R)
  • HD 88 – Al Jacquet (D)
  • HD 112 – Rosy Palomino (R)
  • Indian River County School Board – Laura Zorc

Even though American Federation for Children Action Fund and its affiliated organizations were not active in their races, it also congratulates former Democratic State Senators Al Lawson and Darren Soto on their victories in the Congressional primaries. Both were solid champions of parental choice during their tenures in the state Senate.

“Florida voters have shown their commitment to giving every child the opportunity to receive a quality education,” said John Kirtley, board member of the American Federation for Children Action Fund and Chairman of Florida Federation for Children Electioneering Communications Organization. “Tonight’s results reveal voters’ desire to empower parents with the ability to choose the best school for their children, whether it be a neighborhood public school, a magnet, charter, virtual or even a private school.”

The Florida Federation for Children (FFC) Electioneering Communications Organization invested approximately $500,000 in electioneering communications in races for State Senate, the State House of Representatives and various school board positions. It communicated with voters about key issues facing them in their district. The mission of FFC is to speak on behalf of Florida families who want the power to make choices in where they send their children to school. FFC wants every child to be able to attend the high quality public, charter, private or virtual school that works best for them.

Additionally, parents with children on Florida’s tax credit scholarship program were actively involved in this year’s primary, working with the Florida Education Empowerment PAC to make calls and go door-to-door to voice their support for Democratic candidates who support Florida’s scholarship programs. In SD 19, parents rallied in support of Darryl Rouson to help push him to victory. These parents connected with voters to explain the positive impact Florida’s scholarships have had on their children, and voters responded by backing candidates who support these programs.