Fields: New School Board member Kevin Tynan Should Run As Republican

Guest Columnist


I have long objected to the so-called non-partisan elections for the Broward School Board.*


Education is not a non-partisan issue. I can think of few issues that are more partisan.

There is nothing wrong with that. The best educational system is not an indisputable mathematical fact.

Prayer in school, evolution versus creationism, phonics, physical education, teacher salaries, corporal punishment, year-round schools, standardized testing, tax rates and a thousand other issues divide voters and politicians.

Democrats and Republicans will generally fall in line on one side or the other of these issues.

I can’t think of anything on the ballot that, with one word, will tell voters more about a candidate than party registration.

I bring this up because Governor Charlie Crist named Kevin Tynan, the former Chairman of the Broward GOP, to replace suspended Beverly Gallagher.

Let me say from the start that I know Kevin and he is bright, honest and will be an asset to the Board.

If Kevin runs for election next year, I question whether the law requiring him to conceal his party affiliation on the ballot is best for the voters.


The recent hike in the cost of the Florida Prepaid College Plan for a newborn jumped from $4,614 to–get this–$19,776!!

Florida has the second cheapest higher education tuition in the nation. It’s too bad that some see this as a weakness rather than a strength.

This is the kind of issues that divides Democrats and Republicans. Republicans, who control the Legislature that passed this increase, favor the higher tuition.

In the 21st Century, post-high school education is as important high school education was in the first half of the 20th century.

No one would seriously suggest that it should cost $5000 to attend the 12th grade. So why are we insisting on charging $5000 for the 13th grade?

When are we going to understand that education is not a societal cost; it’s our civilization’s investment. Investments pay back dividends.

 The G.I. Bill put millions through college who would not have otherwise gone. The graduates moved up economically and their income taxes repaid the government ten times over.

Increasing the pre-paid tuition is a pennywise and pound foolish idea.

Non partisan School Board elections became part of Florida’s Constitution in 1998.

The Constitutional Revision Commission placed the measure on the ballot. 

The amendment was the idea of J. Stanley Marshall, the former president of Florida State University (1969-76) who was a member of the commission.  Marshall, a life-long educator,  was also a founder of the conservative Tallahassee think-tank, the James Madison Institute.

His proposal passed the commission 21-6, which sent it automatically to the general election ballot. The state’s voters approved it in a landslide –64-36 percent.)

7 Responses to “Fields: New School Board member Kevin Tynan Should Run As Republican”

  1. GOPapa says:

    Politically, Fields’ idea makes no sense to Republicans in Broward. There is no way Republicans can elect one of their own in partisan races because the School Board has gerrymandered districts to heavily favor Democrats. I can anticipate that Mr. Fields will say that is no different than what the Legislature did with House and Senate districts for Republicans.
    The answer is to have impartial, bipartisan groups draw the districts for all offices. Then everybody except judges could run with the party labels. Until that happens, keep it the way it is.

  2. Broward Resident says:

    Tynan is now the only Republican on the School Board. What difference does it make Sam? A partisan issue will always prevail 8-1 in your scenario. The School Board has been completely (nine out of nine) Democrat and the County Commission has been completely (nine out of nine) Democrat for years, only Jim Scott has served as a Republican this decade. What has that given the taxpayers of Broward? Really? Corruption, wasteful spending in good times, and complete dismantling of services in the down economy.

  3. Every Issue is Partisan says:

    Anyone elected to a legislative body is involved in making policy. Policy involves politics. Plain and simple. And all politics is partisan, make no mistake about it.

    When the school board decides to let kids read “I Have Two Daddies” that’s a political call informed by your partisan preference.

    When the school board raises the millage rate, that’s a policy call informed by your partisan preference.

    When you vote to hire this superintendent over that, favor this policy over the other, support this spending measure over the alternative — all those choices are policies. All policy choices involve politics, and as previously established all politics are partisan by definition.

    So a person’s political preference is absolutely essential to know before you elect them to office. In that context, there is no such thing as a non-partisan election except that there are no primaries.

  4. Sam Fields says:

    Interesting responses from Broward Resident and GOPapa.

    Neither wanted to talk about policy much less what is best for the kids.

    There only interest is in maximizing the number of GOP pigs at the all Demo trough

  5. Jig is Up says:

    Sam: Perhaps the very reason the people voted overwhelmingly for the change to being non-partisan was they they were sick and tired of people like you making what should otherwise be non-political a political sideshow.
    Voters in Broward already consider factors such as which candidate is Jewish, who got the union endorsement, who’s connected to the most local Democrat bosses.
    It makes my stomach turn just thinking about it.
    Many people believe that this is the most corrupt county in the state. It sure aint a bunch of right wing Republicans running things.
    So, there you have it. We need to ensure that more good left wing pro-education Democrats get elected in Broward because the people deserve it (and if you don’t believe it, just ask the FBI !)
    Barrrrf, blahhh, grrrr, barf, pukingggggg…..

  6. Broward Resident says:

    Dear Sam (if this reply is actually from you),

    Your article did not discuss policy, it discussed politics. Damn Skippy I think the POLICIES of the current board are whacked. But your article/post/opinion stated that Tynan should run as a Republican, I guess so that the INFORMED Broward voters can decide whether to elect him based on his party’s ideology regarding education. Just as the voters have been voting to elect Gallagher and Bartleman and Kraft because they uphold the Democratic principles? No – The 10 % of registered voters of Broward that show up at the polls (543,481 Democrat; 242,284 Republican) simply vote the party line.

    By the way, your response:
    “Interesting responses from Broward Resident and GOPapa.

    Neither wanted to talk about policy much less what is best for the kids.

    There only interest is in maximizing the number of GOP pigs at the all Demo trough” is gramitically incorrect – it’s “their,” not “there.” And yes, I’d like ONE GOP PIG at the trough, the DEMOCRAT PIGS shouldn’t be allowed to reap all the bribes from the lobbyists. It’s been a VERY LONG TIME since the School Board has had the interest of the kids on THEIR agenda.

  7. Check Your Facts says:

    Keven Tynan has about as much chance of getting elected in that heavily Democratic district as Buddy Nevins has of replacing Sam Zell, Chairman and CEO of The Tribune Company. (not that he’s not qualified)

    It’s just NOT going to happen. He can go the NPA route, but he’ll never shake the “R” label.

    Who’s going to have a coffee for him in CenVil?


    Kevin is a temp at best.