Former Democratic leader on the California State Senate Gloria Romero endorsed Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Elder this week because of his position on education.
“I chose Larry Elder I think largely because of his understanding of education, the experience that he’s lived, being an African American youth, man, and I went with him,” Romero told The Federalist in an interview on Thursday. “He has spoken eloquently on the failure of the education system and why school choice is so important, especially for communities of color.”
Romero’s endorsement is just one of the newest developments in the Golden State’s close upcoming recall election that will determine the fate of Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom. There are a lot of reasons why Newsom could be recalled, including his tyrannical COVID-19 rules, his failure to address the state’s energy crisis, and his hierarchical hypocrisy through it all, but Romero said his flippant attitude towards schools is the tipping point.
“My mother had a sixth-grade level of education. I have a Ph.D. I ended up becoming chair of the Education Committee. To me, education is what transforms our lives,” Romero said. “I call it the civil rights issue of our time and it’s the key to the American dream so I passionately believe in the right to education, and a quality education.”
This mission, Romero said, carried her through her time leading the state legislature, and now as a voter who is tired of seeing “the same miserable statistics on the overwhelming percentages of African American and Latino youth, especially, who can’t read at grade level” every “year after year, governor after governor, decade after decade.”
“I’m going to throw the monkey wrench into the cog and basically say that this is the issue on which I plant my flag. What has happened in California has been wrong. It’s been exacerbated during COVID and we saw the governor, while telling everybody else ‘your schools have to be shut down, even if they’re crappy, but they’ve got to be shut down,’ but his kids were sent to a private school, it’s just the height of arrogance and the epitome of ‘rules for thee but not for me,'” Romero said.
Romero said her partisanship hasn’t changed since her time in the state senate, but — even though she doesn’t agree with Elder on everything — his stance on education, specifically reopening schools for in-person learning, is “the flag on which I’m going to go ahead and make this fight” to boot Newsom from office.
“It really bothered me that it was being portrayed as a right-wing Republican recall,” Romero said. “I signed the recall petition initially. I know many other Democrats and Independents along with Republicans who signed that. By trying to denigrate it as some right-wing partisan faction, it really shows the arrogance of the political class. They have a disrespect of a citizen’s right in this state to be able to speak out on the performance of a governor. I mean, this is critical to our democracy in California.”
Just like voters should have the right to recall their governor, Romero believes parents should have a say in their child’s education.
“Open up the schools, rearrange at the table of leadership. I mean, this should not just be the California Teachers Association calling the shots, writing the budget. They can still have a seat at the table, but you bring in parents, you bring in communities of color, you expand the chairs that are there that have a voice with the governor so that it’s not just payback,” Romero said. “It’s not just ‘follow the money’ like ‘these guys can give me big money’ that parents of poor kids can’t.”