My Entree into Politics, by Kimberly Boobyer
I recently campaigned for a seat on the Collier County School Board in District 1. I lost in the primary to the incumbent and another candidate that will go on to the general election in November. I would like to share my reasons for running and what I learned in the process.
Why I ran for public office:
I believe in civic responsibility, actively participating in the public life of my local community, by being informed, committed and focused on the common good. Public leadership and cultivating civic engagement have become my focus. I also have come to recognize that local government has the greatest impact on society as a whole and is where most of our freedoms are protected or lost.
If there was ever a time that I felt urged and compelled to take action it was amid the Covid-19 pandemic and what has ensued as a result. Everything I have ever known to be true, factual, valued and respected has been viciously attacked, demeaned, abolished, and/or counterfeited with the most demoralizing, nonsensical absurdities fathomable. I have been witnessing what I never could have imagined, the greatest Republic ever known falling to its knees having been undermined, infiltrated and fundamentally changed.
I was devastated and crushed by the significance of it all. I could not stand idly by while my country tis of thee, sweet land of liberty was being vanquished. This battle that was unfolding and had been covertly being waged for some time is a battle of epic proportion, a modern day battle unlike any before it, waged on a front never before fought, yet like all others before it, a spiritual battle between good and evil. I had to get into the fight.
My father was a Marine with a deep love for his Country. Patriotism was an intricate part of my life growing up. It was not something I did it was a deep part of my personal makeup. I grew up believing with all my being that I lived in the greatest country on the face of the earth and that it was worth dying for if necessary. My father taught me that to believe in and fight for freedom was the most noble and courageous endeavor. I used to regret not joining the military but now I see that not everyone is destined for the military and there are a vast many ways that one can serve their country admirably.
As I contemplated what I could do to serve the cause, I remembered being at a Franklin Graham rally several years prior and hearing him say that more Christians needed to run for positions in government. He specifically expressed the tremendous need at the local level if we wanted to preserve our God given liberties and our ability to worship God freely. His words penetrated me. As a Christian I had been aware for many years that my beliefs were under attack but hey, I prayed, I went to rallies, I was teaching my children good values. I was doing my part.
But, as the pandemic unfolded, it was apparent that everything I had ever held dear was under siege. I was witnessing a massive attack on our God given rights at every turn.
The thing that gripped me the most was the uncovering of what was being taught across the Nation in the vast majority of our public schools. It was being uncovered by parents that were now privy, via remote online learning, to what was taking place in their children’s classrooms.
I was already keenly aware of the apparent lowering of educational standards in academics but now I was seeing the outright demoralization of our Nation’s values and culture, our history being rewritten and an outright indoctrination of our students much like what takes place in countries like Cuba.
As if the concerns over lockdowns wasn’t enough of a burden for parents, now they were having to deal with this attempted indoctrination of their children by the government and it’s educational institutions by means of Critical Race Theory, manipulation of our history and LGBTQ issues to name a few. This along with mandated masking, and the threats of forced Covid-19 vaccines was driving parents to show up at school board meetings in mass to address these issues. Protection of a parents right to determine the education, upbringing and health of their minor child was now the topic of the day. Once in-school learning started to resume there was the resurgence of mass shootings on campus which furthered the urgency to take action.
At the onset I began watching school board meetings both locally and nationally as the scales fell from my eyes. I realized just how deep the infiltration had taken root and the words of Franklin Graham began to surface again and again. They resonated with me and now, suddenly I was seeing the significance of them and realizing that I was being called to go deeper.
I understand the importance of education and the influence it has not only on the student but on society in its entirety. Education is the foundation of what makes a great Republic. Our founding fathers understood this well. Had it not been for their wisdom, their great attention to being virtuous and their classical education that enabled them to have a thorough understanding of world history, and especially of human nature, they would have been incapable of formulating our Constitution, arguably the world’s most important document ever written aside from the Bible. I believe the greatest and longest standing Republic the world has ever know is a result of their knowledge and belief that in order to keep the Republic and avoid tyranny you needed a well educated and informed citizenry.
After much prayer, discernment, research, and encouragement I determined that getting involved in government would be the most effective way for me to utilize my passion, knowledge and abilities. I would make an entree into politics at the local level by running for school board.
What I learned:
I learned what I am made of. True Grit comes to mind. I learned that I am capable of more than I give myself credit for.
I found out quite quickly due to all the forums that I was expected to participate in and know the facts and intricacies of being a board member that I still had the ability to cram at the age of 53 like a college student who believes their entire future depends on passing their exams.
As a school board candidate in a nonpartisan race I learned that diplomacy is integral and so is having a thorough understanding of your role and responsibilities as a school board member. I had to balance my desire to pontificate on issues with the fact that I would be representing more than 48,000 students from a variety of ethnic backgrounds with parents that may have a different belief system than I do. This is public school where all are welcome and all are to be treated with dignity and respect.
Facts matter, sometimes. Likely the most important thing that I learned and the most enlightening is that knowing the facts and being able to speak beyond the rhetoric to the issues affecting the district, having values that you are unwilling to compromise, knowing and understanding the constitution and being willing to defend it is not necessarily what gets you elected. Campaigns backed by PAC’s and organizations that are able to spend unlimited dollars on mailers, text messaging and mass emails are most effective at getting the most votes. My experience showed money does buy votes and that the campaigns with the most money behind them received the most votes.
Even so, I am proud of what I accomplished. I ran a respectable race. I raised nearly $12,000. I put my networking skills to the test and ran a grassroots campaign on a very small budget. I received more than 15,000 votes and for this I am very proud.
I fought hard to win my race. I studied and worked diligently. I built a campaign team that was amazing in my estimation. I am deeply grateful for their devotion to the cause.
I was also deeply moved by the support I was given from our local school board watchdogs that imparted their knowledge and understanding of the issues surrounding our local school board. They were willing to work with any candidate that was willing to learn. I am thankful that I took full advantage.
Even though I lost I would not hesitate to repeat the process all over again because it was such a valuable learning experience. Many a great politician lost their first race. Losing should never be considered a bad thing. I have learned more from my losses in life than from my winning in most cases especially when it comes to learning humility.
As an American I do not believe that politics can be avoided especially after witnessing the destruction of the United States in the past 18 months. As a conservative Republican I feel it imperative to be involved.
Politics is tricky to say the least and sometimes getting elected boils down to nothing more than a popularity contest and who can get the most money behind them. Even so, I cannot profess to love my country and care about my posterity and avoid political issues at the same time. I cannot cower from the potential personal attacks, and I certainly faced them even at this level. Politics is now non-negotiable for me, my value system and conscience will not allow myself to go back to the comfort and safety apart from it that in reality no longer exists anyway. We have to be vigilant and cautious. We cannot rest. It is a Republic that we live in as long as we can keep it. I pray we have not lost it completely.
This is a battle that I will continue to fight in order to ensure that students here in Collier County, across the State of Florida and our great United States will be protected. Mama Bears never give up.
I thank those of you that prayed for and supported my campaign. It was an outstanding grass roots effort and our efforts to reform education need to continue because we still have an enemy hell bent on the destruction of this Republic and the undermining of education.
I would not change anything. I would run all over again even if to lose again. I cannot save the world, but I can surely do something, lest I do nothing. In the famous words of John Paul Jones, “I have not yet begun to fight!”
Please follow my future blogs. My intent is to be informative and inspiring. I will be sharing all things that a conservative Mama Bear would fight to defend.
May God bless you and the United States of America!
Conservative Mama Bear