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Two of Three Leon School Board District 4 Candidates Support Trump’s Big Lie

Two of three school board candidates believe "the big lie".

// July 29, 2022,

11:06 am

Updated:July 30, 2022

It wasn’t a typical question candidate would hear during a debate for the county school board.

Do you have confidence in the 2020 presidential election?

The question was referring to ‘The Big Lie,’ originally used by critics of former president Donald Trump to encapsulate his, and many of his supporters, refusal to accept his loss in the 2020 presidential election. Trump eventually adopted the Big Lie phrase for his denial of the election results.

‘The Big Lie’ says that: The election was stolen because it is not possible that Trump did not win.

An NPR/Ipsos poll found that 66 percent of Republicans agreed with the statement “Voter fraud helped Joe Biden win the 2020 election,” but just 36 percent of all respondents did.

In very blue Leon County Joe Biden overwhelmingly won by 103,517 to 57,453 votes in 2020, so it is not much of a stretch to think that candidates running in Leon County races in 2022 word go on record as supporting the 2020 presidential outcome.

However, that is not the case in Leon County School Board District 4 which is one of the reddest districts in the county, but with 20,197 Democrats; 16,623 Republicans, and about 7800 others, it still trends blue.

Of the three candidates running for the nonpartisan seat, two are questioning and/or rejecting Pres. Biden’s win, while the other candidate firmly supports Biden’s win.

Their views came to light during a candidate forum held recently by WFSU, the Tallahassee Democrat, and the League of Women Voters.

The candidates for the seat are Laurie Lawson-Cox, Susan Elaine-Hodges, and Alex Stemle. Their responses came during what is called the Lightning Round where candidates are asked to respond in one sentence.

William Hatfield, the editor of the Tallahassee Democrat, asked: The question I am asked most by voters who email me to ask the candidates has little to do with the school board, but has become a litmus test and speaks to the more significant question of democracy at large. Do you have confidence in the 2020 presidential election?

 Lawson Cox: Wow. Um, wow. Do I have confidence in the outcome of the 2020 election?

Yes and no.

Hatfield interjected: Yes and no, can you explain in one sentence?

Lawson-Cox: Yes, I think it been uncovered some of the voting discrepancies throughout the nation. So…

Hatfield: Uhh, Susan Hodges?

Hodges: No

Hatfield: Alex Stemle?

Stemle: Yes

Hodge’s response might have been expected as she is a Moms for Liberty-inspired candidate.

While Hodges and Stemle provided unequivocal answers to the question, Lawson-Cox adopted the tactic that many Trump supporters and election deniers employed. They refuse to directly answer the question but refer to “discrepancies” or “questions” with the election.

Lawson-Cox courted controversy recently when Our Tallahassee revealed she and outgoing school board member Dee Dee Rasmussen had conspired to rig the election by holding back Rasmussen’s retirement announcement until the last minute, allowing Lawson-Cox time to put together a campaign loaded with Rasmussen contributors and supporters.

Lawson-Cox is married to long-time Leon County Schools’ senior administrator Alan Cox.

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4 Responses

  1. Out of all the candidates that should be scrutinized and Stemle is one, you pick on nice women. Not cool.

    There are thousands of voter discrepancies that question the integrity of the 2020 election.

    Perhaps, you should question the previous campaign picture Stemle was using. Concerns about it were made to the appropriate sources and Stemle changed the pic to a photo only including himself that wasn’t a professional photo. It was done on the fly to cover up some questions that need to be answered and not campaign quality. Why don’t you ask those questions?

    If Tallahassee reports chose to do another photo when alerted to the problems of it you need to be concerned and ask some questions.

    Stemle doesn’t pass the smell test.

  2. Hope aka the Rasmussen/Cox bulldog. Throwing shade and going after other candidates to deflect from your crew election rigging ethics violations is really low and smells of desperation. Mr. Stemley has served multiple schools here in district 4 with integrity and your persona of him is out of touch with reality and not reflective of the impact he has made on the families here in our community. I cant find one person who has anything negative to say, but you. It is clear you are one if the political hacks we are trying to rid out community of. Stick to talking up Cox and not bashing her opponents. My research suggest they are friends and both speak highly of the other to our community- that is how it should be.

  3. The comment by “Hope” on August 2nd, 2022 at 10:03 p.m. is identity theft and not by the original Hope, me.

    This reflects poorly on the Stemle campaign that he has supporters that would stoop to this level (and also that this publication allows identity theft). This publication should remove the comment by the “fake” Hope.

    In addition it is very troubling that Stemle uses a picture without his wife, but has another “unidentified” female in the picture he used as a campaign promotion.

    He and his campaign trolls refuse to answer this question about the unidentified female. They also refuse to answer the question why he would go from an assistant vice principal to a school board member where the pay is drastically lower. Do we need DCF to help us answer the question ? Simple questions… just answer the questions.

    They don’t answer the questions, but they participate in identity theft. Stemle will lose and he will lose by a land slide due to his unwillingness to be forthright, answer questions, and unable to control himself or campaign trolls.

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