Educators take sides in Orlando Senate race

In a Democratic primary battle for an Orlando-area Senate seat, Florida’s largest teachers’ union is backing state Rep. Randolph Bracy, while school-choice supporters have contributed to former Sen. Gary Siplin, campaign-finance reports show.

160826_dt_florida02The Florida Education Association union this month contributed $25,000 to “Floridians for Progress,” a political committee linked with Bracy. That brought to a total of $55,000 the amount the union had contributed to the committee during the past two months.

Meanwhile, Siplin received $1,000 campaign contributions this month from prominent school-choice supporters John Kirtley and Richard DeVos Jr., newly filed reports show. Also, Siplin’s campaign received $1,000 from Oberndorf Enterprises, a California company led by William Oberndorf, a board member of the Foundation for Excellence in Education.

The foundation was started by former Gov. Jeb Bush and supports education changes, including expanded school choice.

Bracy and Siplin, along with fellow Democrats Chuck O’Neal and Bob Sindler, are running in the Aug. 30 primary for an open seat in state Senate District 10.

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