Blog

Your Education Road Map

Politics K-12®

ESSA. Congress. State chiefs. School spending. Elections. Education Week reporters keep watch on education policy and politics in the nation’s capital and in the states. Read more from this blog.

Federal

Democrats Hope DeVos Will Spur Donations to Ossoff in Heated House Race

By Alyson Klein — June 19, 2017 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Voters in Georgia will settle the closest watched congressional race in the country Tuesday, a special election to replace former Rep. Tom Price, a Republican now serving as secretary of health and human services. And U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has played a surprising supporting role.

Last week, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sent out a fundraising email with the subject line, “DeVos STEALS Georgia.”

The email noted that “DeVos’ family is spending TENS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS” to make sure that the Democratic candidate, Jon Ossoff, loses his bid to take over the open seat in this GOP-leaning congressional district.

The email asks for a $19 donation to help elect Democrats like Ossoff, a former congressional staffer.

The DCCC cited more than $10,000 in donations to Karen Handel, Ossoff’s GOP opponent, from DeVos’ family members, including her father-in-law, Richard DeVos Sr., a founder of Amway. Of course, plenty of other people are donating to Ossoff and Handel. The Georgia race is, after all, the most expensive in House

race history.

Betsy DeVos herself has donated millions to GOP candidates and causes. But she promised to take a break from political contributions while serving in the cabinet.

This isn’t the first time that Democrats have tried to fundraise off of DeVos, whose disapproval rating was above 52 percent, the highest of any Trump administration official, according to a poll released in March.

Even before the education secretary won Senate confirmation, a campaign to re-elect Wisconsin’s Sen. Tammy Baldwin, one of 10 Democratic senators facing re-election in 2018 in a state Trump won, sent out a fundraising email, asking for $5 or $10 donations to help “strengthen our opposition” to DeVos’ nomination.

And the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sent around an email asking voters to sign a petition and “take a stand against” DeVos. The email promised the petition would be delivered to Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., the majority leader.

The DCCC is the House campaign arm, which means it—and House members—couldn’t have done much to stop DeVos from getting confirmed. But the petition could help the DCCC identify potential grassroots activists and even donors.


Democratic candidate for Georgia’s 6th congressional district Jon Ossoff poses for a portrait in Atlanta.


--John Bazemore/AP


Republican candidate for 6th congressional district Karen Handel campaigns in Tucker, Ga., on June 17.


--David Goldman/AP



Follow us on Twitter at @PoliticsK12.

Related Tags:

Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Leadership for Racial Equity in Schools and Beyond
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reveal systemic racial disparities in educational opportunity, there are revelations to which we can and must respond. Through conscientious efforts, using an intentional focus on race, school leaders can
Content provided by Corwin
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Evaluating Equity to Drive District-Wide Action this School Year
Educational leaders are charged with ensuring all students receive equitable access to a high-quality education. Yet equity is more than an action. It is a lens through which we continuously review instructional practices and student
Content provided by BetterLesson

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Federal White House Launches Hispanic Education Initiative Led by Miguel Cardona
President Joe Biden said his administration intends to address the "systemic causes" of educational disparities faced by Hispanic students.
2 min read
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona writes down and draws positive affirmations on poster board with students during his visit to P.S. 5 Port Morris, a Bronx elementary school, Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021 in New York.
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona visits students in New York City at P.S. 5 Port Morris, a Bronx elementary school in the Bronx last month.
Brittainy Newman/AP
Federal Feds Add Florida to List of States Under Investigation Over Restrictions on Mask Mandates
The Education Department told the state Sept. 10 it will probe whether its mask rule is violating the rights of students with disabilities.
3 min read
Surrounded by lawmakers, Florida Gov.Ron DeSantis speaks at the end of a legislative session on April 30, 2021, in Tallahassee, Fla.
Surrounded by lawmakers, Florida Gov.Ron DeSantis speaks at the end of a legislative session on April 30, 2021, in Tallahassee, Fla.
Wilfredo Lee/AP
Federal How Biden Will Mandate Teacher Vaccines, Testing in Some States That Don't Require Them
President Joe Biden's COVID-19 plan will create new teacher vaccination and testing requirements in some states through worker safety rules.
4 min read
Nurse Sara Muela, left, administers the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to educator Rebecca Titus at a vaccination site setup for teachers and school staff at the Berks County Intermediate Unit in Reading, Pa., on March 15, 2021.
Nurse Sara Muela administers a COVID-19 vaccine to educator Rebecca Titus at a vaccination site for at the Berks County Intermediate Unit in Reading, Pa.
Matt Rourke/AP
Federal Biden Pushes Schools to Expand COVID-19 Testing, Get More Teachers Vaccinated
President Joe Biden set teacher vaccine requirements for federally operated schools as part of a new effort to drive down COVID's spread.
7 min read
President Joe Biden speaks in the State Dining Room at the White House, Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021, in Washington. Biden is announcing sweeping new federal vaccine requirements affecting as many as 100 million Americans in an all-out effort to increase COVID-19 vaccinations and curb the surging delta variant.
President Joe Biden in a speech from the White House announces sweeping new federal vaccine requirements and other efforts in an renewed effort to stem the COVID-19 pandemic.
Andrew Harnik/AP