Florida’s Gubernatorial Candidates Push Limits

posted by Claudia Mendoza - 

This is today's important story and my take on it. It comes from the Miami Herald, Florida’s Democratic gubernatorial candidates say they support Broward schools chief

Florida’s candidates for Governor push the limits of partisanship in our schools and communities.

Whatever your view of Superintendent Robert Runcie happens to be, there's a lot in this story that’s endemic of what I perceive to be a growing problem. Increased partisanship with positions that shouldn’t be wrapped in partisan politics. The fate of Superintendent Robert Runcie is potentially a relevant issue for Gubernatorial candidates to address. This, given that they could potentially take action or promise not to when it comes to Runcie's future. This decision could also be independent of what the school board decides to do. The problem is that using a school superintendent as a political wedge issue doesn’t serve anyone, except for perhaps the candidates themselves. 

There isn’t any particular offender, candidates on both sides of the aisle are doing it. Just as there was a rush to judge Sheriff Israel’s outcome as well. For example, both DeSantis and Putnam have praised Governor Scott’s leadership generally, yet when asked about Sheriff Israel’s fate they were quick to say they’d have removed him already. Despite Governor Scott not doing so and saying the FDLE investigation should conclude before considering removing an elected official. That’s something that’s awfully sensible and devoid of partisanship. That what’s lacking all over the place in the primaries for Governor. Among the Democrats, the only one who wasn’t quick to support Runcie was Jeff Greene, and the only reason he didn’t pledge support is that he really hadn’t thought about it.  

I’m increasingly concerned about what’s happening with critical public officials being exploited for political gain. Offices that really shouldn’t have anything to do with partisan politics are being seen as “issues” for voters to consider. In the case of Superintendent Robert Runcie, I don’t think he should be removed by any Governor, nor do I think he should have pledged support by any either. I think the voters who choose the school-board that determines his fate should be the ones to decide.  

I don’t care about the political party of superintendents or law enforcement officials. I care about how well they do their job. I’m pretty sure that’s what most people think as well but unfortunately, we’re in an environment that's challenging to push the limits of partisanship in our communities.  

Photo By: Getty Images

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