It was a given that Ryan Petty, who lost his daughter in February’s shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School, would earn emotional support from the community after declaring his intention to run for Broward County School Board.
Now, it appears Petty is earning financial support as well.
Documents filed with the Broward Supervisor of Elections show Petty has raised more than $44,000 in May. And those donations have come in just about half a month, as Petty only declared his candidacy for the At-Large Seat 8 on May 15.
Those are huge numbers for a school board race. To put them in perspective, no other school board candidate raised more than $35,000 all cycle. Petty’s opponents, incumbent school board member Donna Korn and challenger Elijah Manley, have raised around $10,000 and $15,000, respectively.
Some of Petty’s donations come from political organizations or politicians supporting his campaign. But many of the contributions are in the $5-$100 range, signaling broad support for his bid for Korn’s seat.
Petty’s daughter Alaina was one of 17 people killed in Parkland back in February. Lori Alhadeff, who also lost her daughter Alyssa in the shooting, has also filed to run for Broward County School Board.
She’s running for the District 4 seat, currently held by Abby Freedman. Freedman has already said she would not run for re-election against Alhadeff.
Alhadeff has not yet filed any fundraising information for May.
Both Petty and Alhadeff have spoken about the need to reform the Broward County School District, including the PROMISE Program. Both say they are willing to work with Superintendent Robert Runcie rather than calling on him to step down.
Petty also serves on the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission, established to strengthen school security throughout the state to help prevent another shooting.