Author Topic: Wedge issues drive Republican school board primary victories across Valley  (Read 512 times)

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Offline Timber Rattler

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BETHLEHEM, Pa. — Pitched battles over social issues on school boards will continue through November election, according to unofficial results from Tuesday's primary election.

Conservative Republican slates of candidates targeting LGBTQ issues and library books swept GOP primary races in the East Penn, Parkland and Southern Lehigh school districts, even as the Democrats and moderate Republicans who opposed those platforms landed victories on the Democratic tickets.

Each district has five to six seats open; with school boards comprised of nine people, one slate controlling a majority of the seats could mean they will control the kinds of rules teachers and students have to follow. Many new GOP candidates who called themselves "true Republicans" succeeded in their races by pushing wedge issues over race and gender, and capitalizing on resentment over past COVID masking policies and lingering learning gaps from the pandemic.

The slates of candidates for those school board races who will now be on the Democratic ballots are made up of registered Democrats and Republicans. That isn’t the case for the Republican tickets. Lori McFarland, chair of the Lehigh County Democratic Committee, said voters appeared to vote along party lines and those who cross-filed did better than those who didn't.

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