Esther Byrd, QAnon-adjacent defender of Jan. 6 insurrection, appointed to Florida Board of Education

esther byrd
'When Trump supporters peacefully protest, suddenly "Law and Order" is all they can talk about!'

Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed Esther Byrd to the state’s Board of Education, a move that will almost certainly serve to further politicize that appointed panel.

A former Marine, Mrs. Byrd is currently the legal assistant and office manager for the Law Office of Cord Byrd, P.A.

Byrd is the wife of Rep. Cord Byrd of Neptune Beach. Rep. Byrd, the incumbent in the current HD 11, is one of the House Republicans who sided with the Governor by voting against redistricting maps preserving a minority-access district in North Florida.

“I am excited for the opportunity to serve the students and families of Florida on the Board of Education,” Mrs. Byrd said in a March 14 statement released through the conservative parent group Moms for Liberty.

“Parents are extremely frustrated with being cut off from the decision-making process on issues impacting their children. I will work to amplify their voices, address their concerns, and fight to put children first.”

Esther Byrd is perhaps best known not for her biographical details, but for her staunch advocacy during the Donald Trump administration on behalf of far-right elements.

After the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riots, Mrs. Byrd offered a defense of those “peacefully protesting” the certification of the 2020 Presidential Election while alluding to “coming civil wars.”

“ANTIFA and BLM can burn and loot buildings and violently attack police and citizens,” Byrd wrote on her personal Facebook page. “But when Trump supporters peacefully protest, suddenly ‘Law and Order’ is all they can talk about! I can’t even listen to these idiots bellyaching about solving our differences without violence.”

Those comments came after another incendiary post.

“In the coming civil wars (We the People vs the Radical Left and We the People cleaning up the Republican Party), team rosters are being filled,” mused Byrd. “Every elected official in DC will pick one. There are only 2 teams… With Us [or] Against Us.”

“We the People will NOT forget!” wrote the person who now sets policy for Florida’s education system

Rep. Byrd won re-election handily in 2020, but during that campaign, his spouse’s comments that catered to the fringe elements in the GOP came to the fore.

In October, Mrs. Byrd offered an unsolicited defense of the Proud Boys, a group of youngish men who bill themselves as “western chauvinists.”

Trump infamously urged them to “stand back and stand by” when pressed to condemn the alt-right movement.

Mrs. Byrd, a staunch supporter of the former president, subsequently claimed that many of them and their supporters have been thrown in “FB Jail,” a metaphorical lockdown preventing them from posting to Facebook for some period of time.

“Why do you think Facebook is throwing people in FB Jail who share information about Proud Boys? (Side note: I must really have great friends cause a whole bunch have been locked up! 😂) I think it’s because they’ve seen a drastic spike in searches and they are worried that people are educating themselves rather than blindly believing what MSM narrative. Anyone have a better theory?”

Those statements came months after Byrd made comments supportive of QAnon after the couple was photographed on a boat flying a QAnon flag.

Mrs. Byrd asserted on Facebook contemporaneously that the Byrds were in the photograph.

For his part, the Representative claims that his wife shouldn’t be read too literally.

“People use hyperbole all the time,” Byrd told WJXT last year. “The Speaker of the House has said, and I quote, ‘I just don’t know why there aren’t uprisings all over the country.’”

Asked to clarify that statement, Byrd said “people talk about civil wars in the Republican Party.”

“There are factions. People believe different things. It was a figure of speech and that’s how it was intended.”

Byrd’s appointment is subject to confirmation by the Florida Senate.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


48 comments

  • Seber Newsome III

    March 11, 2022 at 6:26 pm

    We need more people like Mr and Mrs. Byrd!!!

    • Easy stuff

      March 12, 2022 at 2:40 am

      She’s talking about civil wars?

      Looks at her.
      I could take her lol

    • Ken

      March 13, 2022 at 10:47 am

      Good for you!!!

      At the very front of the ‘stupid’ line.

      I thank god daily that he made rightwingers so overwhelmingly stupid that they cannot stop themselves from publicly advertising it.

    • Me

      March 15, 2022 at 7:55 am

      No we do not.

  • Antonio

    March 11, 2022 at 6:47 pm

    While I don’t agree with a lot of what she said, she is not wrong about the 2020 BLM riots and the 2021 Capitol riot being treated differently. Same goes for how the early anti-lockdown protests were called super spreaders, while tabloids that pose as responsible news sources twisted themselves into pretzels trying to convince people that the much larger BLM riots were NOT a covid hazard. And many other instances of excusing one side while condemning the other for the exact same things. Regular people that are not tribally aligned can see through this BS.

    • Frankie M.

      March 12, 2022 at 9:44 am

      I must’ve missed the part where the potus at the time was cheerleading BLM protestors on & urging them to “fight like hell” but don’t let the facts get in the way of your comparison.

    • Ken

      March 13, 2022 at 10:05 am

      You attempt to pose yourself as a “moderate” when you claim to not agree with what she said, but then you immediately go on to defend the nonsensical dogwhistles the she and other rightwingers spew. And so you do the rest of us a favor by outing yourself as an imposter, a hypocrite, and a rightwing apologist.

      Here is the key to why Jan. 6 insurgents and BLM protesters are treated differently: the BLM protesters did not try to storm the seat of our government in an attempt violently overthrow our constitutional republic at the behest of [R] party leaders.

      The great majority of BLM protesters were not violent, and the majority of those that were are paying the legal price. Jan. 6 insurrectionists are now starting to pay the legal price too for their seditious actions…….I’m sorry, how is it that the two groups are being treated differently?

    • Any many minutes mo

      March 13, 2022 at 10:53 am

      Why are Floridians such big liars! They lie about everything! About how great living under oppression is!

  • NBS

    March 11, 2022 at 7:01 pm

    Horrible choice for our state board of Education. She has already made her extremely Hateful and racist opinions too public. She will definitely not be a balanced, reasonable, open minded decision maker for all the many challenges our education system,teachers and students are facing. What education credentials does she have to qualify for this important position…oh, I forgot, she is the wife of a conservative State Representative. So much responsible decision making by this Governor!

    • Ocean Joe

      March 11, 2022 at 8:13 pm

      If they could, they’d abolish our public school system, so that makes Miss Q-Anon a pretty solid pick.

      • Me

        March 15, 2022 at 7:56 am

        This is spot on.

    • John Wilder

      March 12, 2022 at 11:17 am

      You must be a far left liberal. Mrs Byrd made reasonable statememts. I am sick to death of blacks raiding stores and stealing them blind as well as destroying property and NO ONE GOES TO JAIL

      • Anthony

        March 12, 2022 at 11:19 am

        Yeah, because it’s only black people that steal, right?
        Tell us more about your racist views.

        • Joe West

          March 12, 2022 at 12:17 pm

          Yea pretty much the fact. Blacks committee most of the crimes.

          • Anthony

            March 12, 2022 at 6:44 pm

            Wrong, but don’t let the facts get in the way of your racism.

        • Concern Citizen

          March 12, 2022 at 12:19 pm

          I am sick to death of the many folks who attacked and wanted to hang our Vice President at the Capitol, the home of American democracy, on Jan 6.

      • Ken

        March 13, 2022 at 10:40 am

        “reasonable statements”????

        You, my child, are a fine example of what today’s [R]s call “American exceptionalism”: racist, ignorant, hypocritical, purposely misinformed, and most definitely brainwashed.

      • Ken

        March 13, 2022 at 10:42 am

        “Reasonable statements”????

        Yet another fine example of what today’s [R]s call “American exceptionalism”: racist, ignorant, hypocritical, purposely misinformed, and most definitely brainwashed.

      • Any many mighty mo

        March 13, 2022 at 10:56 am

        You sound like someone who would prefer Putin invade and controll America because of the shade of a persons skin!

      • What can I say

        March 14, 2022 at 4:32 pm

        “I am sick to death”

        Red COVID: it happens lol

      • Me

        March 15, 2022 at 7:58 am

        Aw, bless your heart for being “sick to death of blacks” blah, blah, blah. GFY

    • Ken

      March 13, 2022 at 10:09 am

      That is what passes as American “exceptionalism” these days, especially in [R] controlled FLA. Sad. Very sad.

  • tom palmer

    March 11, 2022 at 7:06 pm

    Business as usual in Tallahassee. It is worth noting that most of the criminal activity that occurred in the BLM protests were not federal crimes, which is why they were treated differently from the people who invaded the Capitol on Jan. 6. That difference gets obscured sometimes.

    • RTN

      March 12, 2022 at 10:43 am

      So you admit that the BLM activity was criminal? Federal crime or not, I guess you missed the point.

      • Ken

        March 13, 2022 at 10:20 am

        Nice try, Beavis. The BLM protests were NOT criminal activity. The isolated acts of violence by a few were. And they are paying the price.

        You racists purposely confuse the act of protesting against racism with an illegal activity. Even you know that is nonsense, yet you still spew it.

        Everyone who entered the capitol building on Jan. 6 is guilty of criminal trespass and violent insurrection against our government. There were no BLM protesters inside the capitol building. THAT’S why the two groups are treated differently.

        If hypocrisy was rocket fuel, rightwingers would already be holding their conclaves on Mars.

    • Parnell

      March 12, 2022 at 12:19 pm

      Burning s Federal court building is a Federal crime

  • Kathy

    March 11, 2022 at 9:30 pm

    I guess there was absolutely no other qualified candidate who wouldn’t go into a Desantis appointment without controversy. Or, was that the point? He found (like our State Doctor, lol) just what he was looking for.

    • Doris Zannie

      March 13, 2022 at 7:28 am

      …….I agree with you. Kathy. ….And what in the heck does this woman mean when she said “peaceful demonstration”? The White House was stormed by the worshipers of Trump. She calls THAT peaceful? What a moron…and Duhsantis has appointed another who will bow down and agree with his ideas. It frightens me as to where our Country is headed.

  • Chuck Anziulewicz

    March 11, 2022 at 9:49 pm

    Just what we need, more Marjorie Taylor Greenes.

  • Harmon Brody

    March 11, 2022 at 11:14 pm

    The preoccupation with BLM is a declaration afainst African American ewual treatment under the law.
    DeSantis appointment of this unqualified woman is a blatant attempt to make Education in Florida unequally available to Black students. It is part of thd movement to suppress Black voting. To deny thid is to deny the obvious.

  • Anthony

    March 12, 2022 at 5:09 am

    QAnon… Ignorance… I think most people are simply shrugging, “It’s Florida!”
    It’s some weird competition with Texas.

  • Frankie M.

    March 12, 2022 at 7:57 am

    She was just being sarcastic people! She has no clue what she’s talking about. Just like Trump. That’s why she’s on the board of ed.

    • Jenn

      March 20, 2022 at 11:00 am

      Does she even have a background in education or is she another Betsy Devos..completely clueless?

  • John Petree

    March 12, 2022 at 8:31 am

    It seems that the DeSantis goal is to create an actual “tRump-like” environment of chaotic rule makers who answer to the small-thinker in charge. I’ve never seen a more comic approach to governing or so much fact denying in state run institutions as we all are witnessing here in Florida. Catering to fringe elements of uncommon western beliefs is just so crazy!

  • Fenna VanDerVrees

    March 12, 2022 at 9:19 am

    How much do I have to donate to get her to put on a bra?

    • Frankie M.

      March 12, 2022 at 9:38 am

      Ronnie is all about personal choice unless we’re talking about masks & abortions.

  • USS

    March 12, 2022 at 9:22 am

    Wow – Florida is going downhill quickly. Looks like Ron’s obsession with Handmaid’s Tale is overboard. He hired a racist extremist, that’s an office manager for her husband’s 1-person law firm, to be on a state board of education??

    • Ken

      March 13, 2022 at 10:24 am

      In today’s [R] party, that’s called American exceptionalism.

  • Frankie M.

    March 12, 2022 at 9:41 am

    God forbid we put somebody affiliated with education on the board. No instead we get an ignorant conspiracy theorist. Maybe Ronnie has met his quota of charter school operators/donors on the board?

  • Harold Finch

    March 12, 2022 at 10:03 am

    Irregardless of her radical right-wing preacings, she is totally unquailfied to serve on the State Board of Education!!
    Good Grief!!

  • Danna

    March 12, 2022 at 10:25 am

    Another loser appointed by the WORST Governor in the country, DeSantis. Not only is he stupid, he has no common sense. God help Florida! It’s going downhill fast!

  • Beth

    March 12, 2022 at 11:58 am

    DeSantis is just like trump, he looks far and wide to find the most despicable humans on earth with which to surround himself. An uneducated , racist, Q Anon conspiracy theorist who that thinks Jan. 6 was peaceful? This is who DeSantis wants making decisions that impact our children’s education? She has no business anywhere near the board of education. I might recommend a more therapeutic environment for someone with her delusions.
    There are no words left for despicable DeSantis. He needs to be removed from office now. Just like trump he will leave behind damage that will take FL years to remedy.

  • Kathy

    March 12, 2022 at 4:32 pm

    I used to think Desantis was trying to impress trump. Now, I think he is trying to out crazy him. At this rate, he certainly has a good chance.

    • John Petree

      March 12, 2022 at 5:52 pm

      As the pandemic winds down are there going to be any other “free-dum-lovers” like him remaining???

    • Ken

      March 13, 2022 at 10:33 am

      You are right. This is part of Desantis’ bid for being the [R] presidential candidate. And he’s right to think that to do that he will need to out-crazy the Orange one, because that is, sadly, what today’s [R] is all about.

      Every single one of your fellow citizens who voted for Trump or Desantis voted for this kind of malignant behavior. These are the same morons who go around hypocritically dogwhistling about American exceptionalism. These cretins have no more concept of “exceptionalism” than a 3 year old has concerning multi-variable calculus.

  • Sharyn Foster

    March 13, 2022 at 6:08 am

    This is a disgrace. Shame on you Governor.

  • Cam

    March 15, 2022 at 11:56 pm

    I’m guessing, MTG, Boebert and Byrd’s parents are proud of their trumpery and dysfunctional daughter’s.

  • Ken

    March 16, 2022 at 9:01 am

    How could the parents not be proud when their daughters fawn over men who publicly celebrate their own abuse of women? Its every parent’s dream.

    And don’t forget, this is not just about three random women. These fine examples of American womanhood have been elected to office by large numbers of [R]s, and their actions and words are supported nation-wide by even larger numbers.

    The dysfunctionality of today’s [R] party and its members is profoundly malignant to our country.

Comments are closed.


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