In the summer of 2013, Melbourne GOP Rep. Ritch Workman made an issue out of a textbook used in Advanced Placement history classes in Brevard County, claiming it displayed a pro-Islam bias.
In a new ad promoting his run for the Senate District 17 contest, the Republican refers to that opposition.
A narrator references Workman’s sponsoring $500 million in tax cuts, boasts about getting rid of the Department of Community Affairs, supports ethics reform, leads the fight to abolish Common Core and then says: “Ritch Workman is currently leading the battle to remove pro-Muslim bias and propaganda from our Brevard children’s textbooks.”
Florida Public Radio reported in August 2013 Workman brought his concerns about Prentice Hall’s “World History” textbook to the Brevard County School Board, which was reviewing the book. A spokesperson at the time denied the textbook was biased toward Islam and said the company treats all religions fairly. Workman said the book dedicated 36 pages to Islam and only several paragraphs to Christianity. He also said the book “sugarcoats the rise of Islam.”
In August 2014, the Brevard County School Board voted to create a “supplemental guide” for the textbook, but did not remove it.
Workman is running against Vero Beach House Republican Debbie Mayfield and health care professional Michael J. Thomas in the Aug. 30 primary.