Two Moms for Liberty-backed CCSD school board candidates advance to November election

Two Moms for Liberty-backed CCSD school board candidates advance to November election

The Clark County School District Board of Trustees Wednesday, February 7, 2024. (Lorraine Longhi/The Nevadan / El Nevadense)

By Jannelle Calderón

June 12, 2024

Clark County voters narrowed down school board races from 25 candidates to eight — two of which are backed by the far-right political organization Moms for Liberty.

Unofficial results of Nevada’s primary shows that two of the four candidates running for Clark County School District board backed by the far-right group Moms for Liberty received enough votes in the primary to move on to the general election in November. 

Candidates Lydia Dominguez and Lorena Biassotti, running for school board districts B and E, respectively, were endorsed by Moms for Liberty, which has risen to prominence in recent years by pushing for book bans in school libraries and classrooms and advocating against school curricula that mention LGBTQ rights or race and ethnicity.

While school board positions are nonpartisan, candidates still make their values and beliefs front and center in order to gain the community’s support.  

More than 207,600 voters in Clark County cast their votes in this primary, which represents about 14.4% of the county’s total population. Voters were only able to vote on the candidates in their determined trustee district.

The board oversees the district’s 300,000 students and roughly 40,000 employees, hires and manages the district’s superintendent, and approves the district’s budget. Each of the four school board seats up for election had several candidates running, but only the two candidates with the most votes in each race will face each other in the Nov. 5 election.

Primary results will become final after the election clerk canvasses—or verifies—the results to county commissioners. This will take place after all ballots that require signature verification are processed and all remaining mail ballots that were postmarked by election day make their way to the elections department and are counted. In order to be counted, these ballots must be received before June 15 at 5 p.m. Some mail ballots may need to be cured and voters are contacted by the elections department to verify their identity before June 17 at 5 p.m. 

District B

Out of more than 34,000 votes cast, Dominguez received 30% of the vote in the primary, as of publication. In November, she will face off against Eileen Eady, a former CCSD teacher, who received nearly 24% of the vote as of publication. Candidate Robert Plummer, a former Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department officer, finished third with nearly 21% of the vote.

Dominguez currently serves in CCSD’s Attendance Zone Advisory Committee, which is tasked with reviewing school attendance boundaries and recommending changes to the Board of School Trustees for new schools or to relieve overcrowded conditions at an existing school. Her website suggests she—like other Moms for Liberty-backed candidates—may promote anti-LGBTQ policies, as it states Dominguez will ensure “the fair protection of girls’ and boys’ sports,” if elected, echoing right-wing efforts to prevent transgender youth from playing on sports teams that match their gender identity  

Eady is endorsed by several advocacy groups and unions, including Make the Road Action, which pushes candidates that best represent the interest of Latino communities, and Moms Demand Action, an advocacy group against gun violence. 

District E

In District E, Biassotti and candidates Kamilah Bywaters and Ryan Kissling came in neck and neck in the top three out of the nine candidates running. 

Bywaters, a former special education teacher and community advocate, received 6,202 votes (20.3%) as of publication, while Biassotti, a mom and “parental rights” advocate, got 6,153 votes (20.1%), and Kissling, a local chiropractor, finished third with 5,947 votes (19.4%), of the more than 30,000 total votes. 

Ultimately, the November election will be between Bywaters and Biassotti, the vice chair of the Clark County Moms for Liberty chapter. Like other Moms for Liberty candidates, Biassotti has utilized right-wing talking points about public education during her campaign. 

In a Facebook post last month, Biassotti referred to banning “DEI [diversity, equality, and inclusion policies], gender ideology, restorative policies” in schools. She is also the founder of My Children’s Advocate, an organization that supports claims and accusations that trans rights supporters are pedophiles and groomers. Biassotti has also previously posted a photo expressing her opposition to gay marriage. 

She isn’t shy about her support for former President Donald Trump, either. 

A video on her Facebook shows she attended Trump’s rally in Las Vegas on Sunday, where she shook hands with far-right Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene. 

District A and C

In District A, which includes Henderson, Emily Stevens and Karl Catarata received most of the votes — with 26% and nearly 25% of the votes, respectively. 

Stevens ended the primary ahead of Catarata with an unofficial lead of just 475 votes, receiving 9,719 of the more than 37,000 votes counted thus far.   

Moms for Liberty had endorsed candidate Rachel Puaina, a former CCSD teacher, for District A, but she received the least amount of votes among the five candidates.

In a rematch, District C incumbent Evelyn Garcia Morales, the only trustee seeking reelection, will be facing Tameka Henry in November. In the 2020 general election, Garcia Morales beat Henry by about 4,500 votes, or 6% of the vote, despite Henry coming on top in the primary. 

This primary played out similarly, with Henry, a long-time community and education advocate, receiving more votes (nearly 37%) than Garcia Morales, who received about 29% of the nearly 23,000 votes counted thus far. 

  • Jannelle Calderón

    Jannelle Calderón is a bilingual politics and community multimedia reporter with a passion to highlight the human side to policy and issues as well as showcasing the vibrant cultures found in Southern Nevada. She previously reported for The Nevada Independent and graduated from UNLV.

CATEGORIES: EDUCATION
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