First Lady Casey DeSantis announced the launch of Mamas for DeSantis. The political effort will rally parents in support of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ parental rights agenda.
“Through the First Lady’s leadership, Mamas for DeSantis will work in partnership with Gov. Ron DeSantis’ re-election campaign as a movement for Florida moms, grandmas, abuelas, nanas and more to get involved in the re-election campaign,” according to a press release reported first by Fox News.
“With the goal of signing up a million mamas across the state of Florida, this initiative will be the largest movement of parents in Florida history.”
A website bills that effort as “The Million Mama Movement.” That’s a lofty goal in a state where just over 8 million voted in the last gubernatorial election, perhaps considering the Mamas usefulness will extend past DeSantis’ 2022 re-election campaign and into a potential presidential campaign for 2024.
The site for Mamas for DeSantis leans heavily on Casey DeSantis’ story. An “about” page, for example, directs to a full biography on the First Lady, a mother of three. It mentions the DeSantises are the first First Family to have a child while living in the Governor’s mansion in more than 50 years. Mamie was born in March 2020. The couple also has two older children: Madison, 5, and Mason, 4.
It also tells the story of Casey DeSantis surviving cancer. She was declared cancer free in February.
On an “Issues” page, the website leans heavily into parents’ rights.
“From the Panhandle to the Keys, Florida’s mamas are the backbone of our families and communities — they are on the forefront of fighting for their family’s well-being, safety and prosperity,” the site states. “Thankfully, we have a pro-family leader in Florida who understands this. Gov. DeSantis has spent three and a half years enacting policies in support of our families. Because of his leadership, the Sunshine State has thrived.”
It goes on to say Gov. DeSantis kept schools open for in-person learning during the pandemic, glossing over the fact that in 2020 the state closed down in-school learning in the spring and kept all schools closed through the end of the academic year.
In the 2020-21 school year, Gov. DeSantis said all schools had to make in-person learning available, and most school districts provided in-person and remote options for parents. For the 2021-22 school year, Gov. DeSantis forbade school districts from requiring students to wear masks for any part of the school year, leading to friction with many districts.
The Mamas for DeSantis site also noted DeSantis signed the largest education budget in state history, raising teacher pay and encouraging workforce training programs.
Beyond education, it also discusses public safety issues and stopping local governments from “defunding law enforcement,” as well as investments in the environment including record spending on water restoration.