Anti-CRT Parents Sweep Connecticut School Board Primary, Besting GOP Incumbents

Opponents of critical race theory attend a packed Loudoun County School board meeting in Ashburn, Va., June 22, 2021. (Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters)

The political novices say their Republican incumbent opponents kowtowed to the progressive board members’ CRT agenda.

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Five parents hell-bent on keeping critical race theory (CRT) out of the Guilford, Conn. school district swept the Republican school board primary Tuesday night, advancing to the general election in November.

Fending off a challenge from three old-guard Republican incumbents — who the anti-CRT parents accuse of rubber-stamping the racialized curriculum favored by the board’s progressives and the district superintendent — the cabal of five dominated the competition Tuesday, walking away with bids for the November ballot.

Political novices Timothy Chamberlain, Nick Cusano, Aly Passerelli, Bill Maisano, and Danielle Scarpellino outperformed their intra-party rivals by a three to one margin, according to figures provided to National Review.

Nearly half of all registered Republicans in Guilford voted in Tuesday’s election, according to Scarpellino.

“The defeat was crushing and sent a very loud message that our town will not be dominated by the woke cancel culture and our kids will be shielded from any and all political indoctrination,” Scarpellino told National Review.

The parent activists’ landslide victory suggests that they now have a mandate from Guilford’s Republican constituents, as it was not the first time they defeated the establishment GOP trio.

On July 22, the company of five earned the endorsement of the town’s GOP caucus, but the incumbents, who the newcomers have branded “Republicans in Name Only,” wouldn’t go quietly, immediately announcing they would primary the interlopers on September 14.

Tuesday’s election was a referendum on Republicans who prioritized bipartisanship over defending Guilford’s children from racial indoctrination that teaches a one-sided view of American history, according to the newly elected parents.

However, the three, who call themselves “The Good Republicans” according to screenshots of yard signs Scarpellino provided, may have one more trick up their sleeves, which is to run as Independents in the general election.

The anti-CRT candidates say they rode to victory on a wave of dormant energy supplied by Guilford parents who are demanding a balanced, transparent, and apolitical curriculum.

But the victory was by no means guaranteed; the candidates benefitted from a substantial organizing effort.

In August, the parents hired a campaign manager, Mary Beeman, who Scarpellino says was pivotal to their success. Beeman previously served on the local school board and told Scarpellino she felt silenced by the panel’s liberal representatives. She led the campaign on a volunteer basis, taking a grassroots mobilization approach. Hundreds of other people also helped with the campaign in some form, Scarpellino says.

The team utilized door to door interaction, personal letters from students and veterans, video interviews with the slate of five, yard signs, automated texts and calls, palm cards, flyers, and more to get out the vote.

“With so much to learn, there’s no time for political indoctrination in the classroom. We welcome all instruction that offers an honest, balanced view of our history and society; we reject attempts to use our schools to divide our children by race and political views,” Beeman said in a statement.

In the wake of their defeat, the incumbent Republicans, who also sit on the Republican town council, announced that they would be canceling the council’s monthly “Steak-Out,” a fundraising event held annually for the GOP’s school board candidates. The town’s Republican leadership is attempting to put the anti-CRT group at a disadvantage financially to hurt their campaigns, Scarpellino believes.

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