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ANALYSIS: We Just Got The Latest Indication Red Waves In Blue Cities Could Become A Reality

Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images

Mary Rooke Staff Writer
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A Republican red wave hit blue cities Tuesday as American parents took to the ballot box to voice their frustration over extended Covid policies, safety and serious curriculum issues.

The rise of the informed parent should have Democrats scared as they set the tone for what’s to come by voting out progressive school board members and city officials from Oklahoma to Wisconsin in order to replace them with Republican-backed candidates.

Oklahoma is one of the reddest states in the union, with a Republican governor and a Republican supermajority in both the state House and Senate. Like in most red states, leadership positions inside Democrat-controlled cities within the state are often out of reach for Republican candidates despite their statewide support.

However, with parents’ becoming increasingly aware of Critical Race Theory and sexual ideology permeating their children’s education system, school board members were put on notice. (RELATED: ‘We’re Going To Get Slaughtered’: Biden’s Poll Numbers Trigger Panic Mode For Democrats)

Tulsa Public Schools is in the bottom 50% of school districts (#499 out of 540) in Oklahoma and ranks less than 35% for Math, Reading and Language Arts proficiencies against the rest of the state, according to publicschoolreview.com. Republican-backed E’Lena Ashley ran for an open Tulsa School Board position Tuesday against the Democrat-backed two-term incumbent Shawna Keller and won by over 13 points.

“We have an opportunity to turn things around for this district,” Ashley said Tuesday night, according to the Tulsa World. “I am excited to do what we can to work together, get some traditional learning back in the schools and change the trajectory so that our children can come out of our schools ready to participate in society comfortably.”

Republicans backed three candidates running for the three open Waukesha, Wisconsin, school board positions, Karrie Kozlowski, Mark Borowski and Marquell Moorer. All three conservative candidates won their races, taking out two incumbents in the process.

The Waukesha school system is filled with “controversial equity initiatives infiltrated district curriculum and teacher training” like CRT, which “began to drive a wedge between students by espousing falsehoods about America and, more specifically, children of different races,” Borowski said on his website.

“Our children have endured an awful lot in the past two years navigating a pandemic that unleashed mandates, restrictive rules, remote learning and constant changes to their normal school routine,” Borowski added. “As a result, district ACT scores were once again below the state average benchmark. For Forward Exam Scores, an unbelievable 50-60% of students in all grades were not proficient, a shockingly high percentage.”

He said this election wasn’t about him winning, but instead, the win meant the school district could start preparing students for the future. (RELATED: ANALYSIS: Here’s Why Kids Will Define The 2022 Midterms)

The red wave continued to bring devastation to Democrats Tuesday as local elections for mayor and county executive flipped from blue to red.

Norman, Oklahoma, a traditionally Democrat stronghold that houses the University of Oklahoma, voted for Hilary Clinton in 2016 by  2.5 points and President Joe Biden in 2020 by 9 points, rejected a second term for their incumbent mayor.

Although the race was billed as non-partisan, the residents knew incumbent Norman Mayor Breea Clark and the Norman city council defunded the Norman Police Department (NPD) by almost $900,000 in the aftermath of the 2020 race riots. Clark was also the first mayor in Oklahoma to institute a mask mandate and refused to remove the stay-at-home orders Republican Oklahoma Gov. Stitt lifted in April 2020.

Why pick fights with the mayors, @GovStitt? Like OKC and Tulsa, Norman’s Stay at Home Order will remain in place through 4/30. You may be willing to risk lives by moving forward without proper testing or a plan for contact tracing, but I’m not,” Clark tweeted.

Clark’s opponent, Larry Heikkila, promised to increase the funding to the NPD stripped by city leaders and garnered the endorsement of Norman’s Fraternal Order of Police. In a January campaign ad, Heikkila told voters that Clark’s Covid policies and defund the police movement were a part of harmful “government overreach.”

“The people of Norman say no more. We say no more to the defunding of our police. We say no more to the government’s overreach with our health freedoms and our parental rights. No more to the inequities demonstrated by the participants in the redistricting committee,” Heikkila said. “Our voices will be heard loud and clear through our votes in the ballot box.”

Heikkila beat Clark by 53.4% to 46.6% in Tuesday’s run-off election.

The Norman mayoral race wasn’t just a one-off condemnation of the city officials who leaned into progressive policies. Kenosha, Wisconsin, a swing county in a swing state, had a Democrat county executive (similar to a county mayor) for decades and barely survived the deadly and devastating riots of 2020.

Former Republican state Rep. Samantha Kerkman defeated Democrat Clerk of Courts Rebecca Matoska-Mentink Tuesday earning the county executive position. Kerkman is the first Republican to hold the office. (RELATED: Kenosha County Executive Seat Turns Red For The First Time In Decades)

The Wall Street Journal editorial board opined that “November is a long way off” but warned that these election results could indicate “that something larger is stirring in the electorate.”

“The outcomes in Waukesha, Kenosha and Norman could be another sign that the people’s revolt against progressive ideology might be as broad as Republicans hope and Democrats fear,” the editorial board wrote.