Write in Candidates – Yea or Nay?

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On October 7, the Board of Education voted to remain under the current virtual learning model. To say parents are upset is an understatement – they are livid.  This anger sparked conversations and interest in possible “write-in” candidates. 

On October 13 one write-in candidate revealed herself to the public via Facebook – Paulette Anders – Write in Candidate for the Frederick County BOE

Ms. Anders is qualified, as is anyone else who lives in the county and is a registered voter.  With a little over two weeks to go can she, or any write-in candidate be properly vetted? 

Will her platform have anything to do with a successful campaign or could she be swept in on a wave of anger created by the recent vote of the current Board?

Her chances are small.  As of October 13, the Board of Elections had received 16,565 write-in ballots.  There were 62,565 applications still in the pipeline.  Some no doubt already filled out and mailed.  That’s a huge disadvantage to overcome.

Some of you may recall when Councilman Tony Chmelik attempted a write-in campaign.  He was a well-liked incumbent but only garnered 3.2% of the vote.  Granted, his last name made the process more difficult, but voters don’t generally like to vote for candidates who don’t officially appear on the ballot.  He also had the benefit of only having to reach the voters in County Council District 2.

Ms. Anders must get her message out to the entire county of over 186,000 registered voters.  She must get roughly, 35,000 people to vote for her.  Somewhere between 9% and 44% of whom have already voted.  It’s a numbers game. 

Is there enough time for voters to properly vet Ms. Anders?

Voters are just starting to learn about her platform and beliefs.  Through a Q& A on her Facebook page she was asked: “What type of anti-racism curriculum should be taught in schools?”

Before you find her response appropriate or inappropriate you should know what “anti-racism” is.

Anti-racism teaching is where you explain to your students that their white peers are born with an advantage because they are white. The goal is to get the white students to believe and embrace they are born racists while teaching the brown, black, red, and yellow students they have and will be oppressed by their white friends. Unless of course, we teach the white students to be actively “anti-racist.”

No concern is given to how this will damage multi-racial relationships nor how it might adversely affect bi-racial children.  Anti-racism promotes the idea that America is systemically racist, and its systems were created and perpetuated to benefit only white people.

If you saw Councilman and FCPS elementary music teacher Jessica Fitzwater’s public comments where she announced she was a “racist” and had “white privilege”, you witnessed the goal of “anti-racism” teaching.

Ms. Ander’s response to the anti-racism question, in part:  “This summer I promised myself I would read books that would help me become more educated about the serious issue of racism in our country.” and that she was reading Stamped by Ibram X. Kendi. Kendi accused Supreme Court Nominee Amy Coney Barrett of being a “white colonizer” for adopting two black children from Haiti.

The October 16, 2020 Frederick News Post article said “She wants the FCPS curriculum to include more authors of different backgrounds and underrepresented communities and thinks modern-day content like the 1619 Project from the New York Times could be used in upper-level classrooms to have discussions around race and address current events.”

Her Facebook page portrays her as not knowing much about the 1619 Project and that the materials would require further review. 

Her comments on the 1619 Project are conflicting and deserve more inquiry.  With a little over two weeks left until the election, will voters learn exactly where she stands on this controversial issue?

The Tentacle has reached out to Ms. Anders with the following questions:

  • 1.  Do you support “anti-racist” teaching and materials?
  • 2.  Do you think FCPS is systemically racist?
  • 3.  Do you think America is systemically racist?
  • 4.  Do you support policy 443?

These are questions voters care about, and they deserve concrete answers.  When we receive them, we will update this article.

Parents do want their children back in school.  However, what they go back to is also as important.

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Cindy A. Rose began writing for the Tentacle in 2011 trying to raise awareness over things happening within Frederick County Public Schools. She began keeping a close watch on FCPS when she learned there were not enough air conditioned buses for special needs children during the hot Maryland summers. The Tentacle offered her a place to share her concerns with her community when local newspapers didn’t always. Cindy had the opportunity to buy the Tentacle from creator/owner John W. Ashbury in 2019, so she did. She believed then, as she believes now, our communities, friends and neighbors have important things to say that needs to be shared with those living around them. Large corporate news companies don’t always share in those passions and concerns. The Tentacle is a local news, commentary and community website run by citizens, for citizens. Its success depends on your participation.