Category: News

Barefoot and Jones Opposed by DeSantis and Team In 2024 Election

February 22, 2023

Governor Ron DeSantis and Florida State House Speaker Paul Renner met with Moms for Liberty Co-Founders Tina Descovich, Tiffany Justice and Board Member Marie Rogerson to work on who to endorse for School Board in the 2024 Election, per The Florida Standard.

Attendees to the meeting also included Republican Party of Florida Chairman Christian Ziegler, Republican Party of Florida Vice Chairman Evan Power and Florida Education Commissioner Manny Diaz.

Ziegler also serves as State Committeeman for the Republican Executive Committee of Sarasota County. His wife Bridget Ziegler is a School Board Member in Sarasota County and is a former board member of Moms for Liberty.

Power also serves as Chairman of the Republican Executive Committee of Leon County and previously as the Republican Party of Florida’s Chair of Chairmen.

Specifically, the meeting discussed which Board Members need to be voted out in 2024. For Indian River County, School Board Members Dr. Peggy Jones Ed.D (District 3 – Vero Beach) and Brian Barefoot (District 5 – Indian River Shores) have been targeted for removal by Governor DeSantis and his team due to their perceived opposition to the Governor’s Freedom Agenda.

The Florida Standard quoted the reasons for DeSantis and his team opposing Jones and Barefoot as “more child maskers, and Jones did her best to stall the removal of pornographic books from Indian River County schools.”

In recent years, there have been heavily obscene books found in Schools across the United States that have had both written and or pictorial depictions of sexual obscenity, among other things.

The book issue has been fought heavily by the local Indian River County Moms for Liberty Chapter, garnering both praise and criticism from members of the Indian River County community.

Moms for Liberty – Indian River, Florida Chairman Jennifer Pippin had even served on the Florida Department of Education’s Library and Curriculum Training Committee. According to Pippin, the committee followed 2022 HB 1467 Parents Rights in Education and “created the training for all of the media center specialists and teachers with classroom libraries per statute.”

2022 HB 1467 was the bill that many mainstream and left leaning media had wrongly deemed the “Don’t Say Gay Bill” when such a phrase and similar was never found in the text of the bill at any point of drafting and finalization.

Notably, Barefoot was censured by the Republican Executive Committee of Indian River County in September 2021 for going against Governor DeSantis’s Executive Order 21-175 by voting to keep a masking mandate in place in the School District of Indian River County.

Barefoot’s censure was met with differing opinions from Indian River County residents with some highly praising the censure with a few disagreeing with it for various reasons.

Moms for Liberty – Indian River, Florida Chairman Jennifer Pippin told Indian River News “we will continue to hold our elected officials accountable and remember their voting record in 2024. Our school board members need to value children and parental rights everyday. Our current district 3 and district 5 school board members haven’t done that and the voters see it. Parents, grandparents and community members will vote accordingly.”

Jones was previously Principal of Sebastian River High School.

Barefoot previously served as Mayor of Indian River Shores and as President of Babson College in Massachusetts.

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