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Anthony Leonardi on the Washington Examiner: "Marco Rubio, Orrin Hatch go local to help father of slain Parkland student get elected to school board"

August 17, 2018

 Image Courtesy of the Washington Examiner

 

Check out Anthony's latest on the Washington Examiner. 

 

Excerpt: Normally it'd be unusual for a United States senator to get involved in a local school board election, but that's just what Sens. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Marco Rubio, R-Fla., are doing.

 

 

The two endorsed Ryan Petty, a father of a student slain in the Parkland, Fla., mass shooting, for Broward County School Board District 8.

 

"Ryan Petty, having faced unimaginable tragedy, worked with me and others to make the Stop School Violence Act law,” Rubio told Red Alert Politics. “I’ve gotten to know Ryan personally over the last few months, and I’ve witnessed firsthand his passion and resolve. No one will work harder or be a more effective advocate for school safety initiatives than him, and he has my total support."

 

Petty has been endorsed by members on both sides of the political aisle. Jared Moskowitz, a Democratic state representative from Florida, also supports Petty’s campaign.

 

“My kids will soon enter the Broward County school system. Ryan is running to keep my kids safe, something other elected officials failed to do for his daughter, Alaina. I can’t imagine burying my child and then running for office to protect other children,” said Moskowitz.

 

Petty also has the support of many within the Broward County community.

 

“People should take note to the fact that two United States senators have come out in support of Mr. Petty. After the tragedy, Mr. Petty, who lost his daughter, treated me like a son and was there for me ... Whenever I needed him, he treated me like there was nothing else he was concerned about. Gave me his full attention and fatherly love,” said Kyle Kashuv, a student survivor of the Parkland Shooting.

 

“Broward is going to set the example for the rest of the nation," Kashuv added. "[Broward School Superintendent] Robert Runcie is an incompetent fool who needs to go. We need new leadership. More importantly, we need safe children. They are the future.”

 

“I know Ryan as a brother in the loss that we have endured as fathers, as husbands, and as men,” said Andrew Pollack, a father of a child who was slain in the Parkland shooting.“ Ryan Petty is the right choice ... because he has dedicated his life to the cause of protecting our children and ensuring that the club that he and I now belong to — the club of parents who have lost children to school violence — never has to add another member,"

 

Pollack said. "Broward County would be lucky to have a gentleman like Ryan Petty, with his professionalism and acumen, helping to guide Broward Schools.”

 

Kashuv, Pollack, and Petty met with members of Congress on both sides of the political aisle to pass the Stop School Violence Act in March of 2018, which improved school security infrastructure and reporting mechanisms.

 

Speaking to the Washington Examiner, Petty said he believes it’s important for people to go out and vote in their local elections.

 

“On February 14th … I learned a powerful lesson,” said Petty. Petty believes that decisions that come from local public servants, such as members of the school board, can have “life and death” consequences.

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