CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Spurred by leftist culture wars to protect their children, mamas, grandmas, abuelas, and nanas may be some of the most pivotal voters in the Florida’s upcoming midterm elections, according to Florida’s first lady, Casey DeSantis.
Virginia’s recent gubernatorial race proved to the country just how vital a role mothers and grandmothers can play in elections. And in Florida, the governor’s team is leaning hard into the mom vote and urging women to come out and protect their children.
“It’s one thing when you come after a mama,” DeSantis said in an interview with The Daily Wire following her “Mamas for DeSantis” event in Coral Gables. “It’s another thing if you come after her kids.”
DeSantis launched “Mamas for DeSantis” in late June, an initiative accompanying her husband’s reelection campaign to spur Florida’s “moms, grandmas, abuelas, nanas” to get involved in the governor’s 2022 re-election.
“People were coming out of the woodwork to support,” she shared, describing Florida’s mothers as “fired up.”
“We said, ‘how can we corral all of these folks together to try to march on behalf of the governor to have a slam dunk election?’”
At one of these “Mamas for DeSantis” events, hosted in August near Miami, mothers and grandmothers dressed in brightly colored outfits sipped mimosas as DeSantis chatted about her experiences as a wife and mother, her new initiative Hope Florida – A Pathway to Prosperity, and her strong support for her husband.
The ladies present were cheerful and avidly supportive of both Casey DeSantis and her husband. In interviews with The Daily Wire both before and after event, they shared that they are deeply concerned about progressive content being taught to children in schools: Critical Race Theory (CRT), gender ideology, progressive sex education.
They fear rising crime brought on by lax judicial systems and the border crisis.
They want lawmakers who “protect the innocence of our children” and who understand that parents, first and foremost, are in charge of their children’s upbringing.
And these women are confident that mothers can bring about strong change.
“That’s what people don’t know, how strong women can be, and a woman’s vote is very important,” one mother said.
“I think the worst mistake that this president did was to mess with us women, with our children,” another said of President Joe Biden, “because we as a women, we say, ‘You don’t mess with our children. These are my children, and we fight for them.’”
Many attribute Glenn Youngkin’s victory in Virginia to the parent-led rebellion against ideological content in schools, a movement which Youngkin particularly tapped into after Democrat Terry McAuliffe said he did not think “parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”
The ill-timed remark, made amidst national outrage over the Loudoun County Public Schools sexual assault cover up, would haunt McAullife for the rest of the election cycle as Youngkin’s team victoriously roused parents across the state against the Democrat.
Team DeSantis seeks to also mobilize parents who are angry about leftist attempts at subverting education. But rather than building off a shocking incident like the Loudoun County case, the governor’s team seeks to create organic momentum through events such as the Coral Gables brunch, where Florida’s first lady urged mothers and grandmothers to get out and vote on the culture war issues that have become so critical.
Everywhere she goes, DeSantis shared with The Daily Wire, mothers ask her, “How can I get involved? How can I help support the DeSantis agenda? How can I support what he’s done on education?”
The Florida governor has repeatedly pushed back against gender ideology or CRT in education through legislation like the Parental Notification Act, which bans classroom discussions of gender identity and sexual orientation for little children.
“Florida is the place where woke goes to die,” he said August 16. “We are not going to let this state descend into some type of woke dumpster fire. We’re going to be following common sense, we’re going to be following facts.”
The coronavirus pandemic has also significantly changed the way that parents look at political candidates and elections. Parents who formerly identified as Republican or Democrat now have become single issue voters, The New York Times reported: parents skeptical of vaccine mandates, mask mandates, and the grandiose statements of public health officials.
Casey DeSantis doesn’t blame them.
“Basically everything they told us was a lie!” she said, pointing to health officials’ constant flip-flopping on masks, transmissions, and vaccinations.
“People have a right to be very skeptical,” she said. “When you talk about public health officials, they have done an immense disservice to the benefit of society because they have been repeatedly wrong on so many things, but they haven’t had the fortitude to come out and admit that they were wrong. And so I think parents are very upset by that.”
“It really is disgusting when you look at public officials who stand up there and take their mask off,” she continued, specifically naming American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, “and at the same time they were forcing and advocating for kids to be muzzled and teachers will be muzzled.”
“It was just an atrocity for what a lot of folks did to those kids,” she added, “and I am so proud of the governor to stand strong with no vax mandates and no mask mandates from the beginning.”
And the coronavirus virtual learning is what exposed many parents to what they were formerly unaware of — the ideological content their children were being taught.
“I think it really was COVID that allowed a lot of these moms to peer into the classroom for the first time and see what was being taught without their consent and behind their backs,” Florida’s first lady explained.