On Fort Mill roads, their campaign signs stand out with a list of four school board candidates and a message for anyone who is “tired of politicians.”
“ELECT A PARENT!” the signs say.
Moms for Liberty York County has endorsed four candidates running for the Fort Mill School District Board of Trustees, including Connie Cullen, Joe Helms, Rachele Julian and Eric Mann. All four are parents. (Full profiles on all 12 candidates are available here.)
But who is Moms for Liberty York County and what do they stand for?
According to Chairperson Jackie Terribile, Moms For Liberty is a non-partisan organization fighting for parental rights. The group endorsed the candidates after offering questionnaires to all 12 candidates and inviting a short video for group members to review. The group also co-sponsored a candidate’s forum on Oct. 6 at MorningStar Ministries.
“In accordance with the directive from our national organization, we polled our dues-paying members to find out their top four candidates and these four received the most votes by far,” Terribile said. “Our members feel they align most closely with our mission to stand up for parental rights.”
She said their group did not fundraise for candidates nor contribute financially to their campaigns. The four candidates each signed the Moms For Liberty Parent Pledge to stand up for parental rights.
The pledge states: “I pledge to honor the fundamental rights of parents including, but not limited to the right to direct the education, medical care, and moral upbringing of their children. I pledge to advance policies that strengthen parental involvement and decision-making, increase transparency, defend against government overreach, and secure parental rights at all levels of government.”
How do the other candidates feel about the endorsements?
Dr. Nichell Newton said anyone or group can decide to endorse whomever they so choose.
“However as for me, I am running my race for the students, teachers, and community of Fort Mill/Tega Cay,” she said.
Kevin Glover said he welcomes the engagement of the group.
Retired teacher Lipi Pratt said she has limited knowledge of what Moms for Liberty is about, only that they are concerned about defending parental rights. She said she is endorsed by parents and students who she has taught over the years.
“My main focus has been on student success,” Pratt said. “Personally, I always vote person over party, and I think it is an important responsibility to do my own research on candidates and decide whom I feel will best represent me if elected.”