Candidates opposed to critical race theory and COVID-19 mandates won school board seats across Minnesota Tuesday night, often in areas controlled by Democrats.
In one of the most stunning upsets of the night, Matt Audette defeated opponent Dave Dirkswager by well over 30 points in Anoka-Hennepin. Audette’s campaign was centered on his opposition to critical race theory, mask mandates, and “forced COVID vaccinations.”
In fact, his campaign was known for yard signs that displayed “No Critical Race Theory” far more prominently than his own name.
Conservative Cinta Schmitz won a special election for an open school board seat in Lakeville, defeating opponent Carly Anderson by less than 200 votes. Schmitz ran on a platform of keeping “divisive policies that teach racism and intolerance of people with different ethnic backgrounds or skin colors — whether it’s called CRT or any other equity-related term — out of our schools.”
She also opposes vaccine and mask mandates for students, instead supporting the rights of parents to make medical decisions for their kids.
Eric Tessmer was elected to the school board in South Washington County, where he ran with a slate of three other conservatives. Tessmer secured the fourth-most votes in the race, earning him one of four available seats.
Tessmer spoke out against the district’s “Racial Equity and Inclusion Policy” at an August meeting and highlighted his opposition to critical race theory as one of the top issues on his campaign website.
Maureen Eigen defeated Jeff Patience in a special election for the Alexandria School Board.
“I am not against CRT because I want to maintain my power. I oppose CRT because I believe it does not empower students of color. It teaches oppressive mindsets, and furthers segregation. We are all unique individuals and our primary identity is not our skin color,” Eigen said in an October Facebook post.
“I don’t oppose CRT because of any political agenda. I oppose it because it’s not right,” she added.
Eigen spoke at a “supporting health freedom” event during her campaign and described herself as a “woman of faith with conservative values.”
A slate of three conservative-leaning candidates swept the school board elections in Hastings.
This trend held up nationally, too. The 1776 Project PAC, a conservative education group, reports that 44 of the 58 candidates it backed have either won or are leading in their school board races.
“Yesterday’s election demonstrates that parents are willing and able to cut through school officials’ jargon and gaslighting — and that they will absolutely exercise control over their children’s education, whether politicians want them involved or not,” Nicole Neily, president and founder of Parents Defending Education, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “The vast majority of American families oppose students being taught to view themselves and others through the lens of identity politics — and this trend is not going away.”