Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., told Newsmax that Republican Glenn Youngkin will hammer home the Virginia race for governor with a laser focus on education as his main argument against his Democratic rival, former Gov. Terry McAuliffe.
Education is ''the cutting-edge issue in the election that we have today. That tells you that when you go so far beyond the pale, when you are out there trying to radicalize so many things by running it through the federal government with that 'woke' point of view, we're going to see the results of that this evening,'' Braun said Tuesday on the ''The Chris Salcedo Show.''
''I think even if it's close, even if he doesn't quite get there, because it's a 10-point swing, he's literally overcome with that one issue,'' Braun added.
Youngkin has rapidly closed the gap with McAuliffe in the last two weeks leading up to the election as the state is ground zero in the fight between whether parents have a say over what school boards decide to teach children.
Loudoun County Public Schools board meetings have become nationally streamed events, with board members apparently shutting down public comment periods after parents and other members of the public criticized the district's curriculum.
Videos of the school board enlisting the help of law enforcement, at times to arrest parents speaking out against the board, have gone viral.
What started out as several parents criticizing the use of critical race theory in the curriculum, grew as other issues in the district popped up, including the alleged rape of a female student in a girls' restroom by a transgender student.
The father of the girl, Scott Smith of Leesburg, was arrested by sheriff's deputies at one of the meetings.
According to WJLA, the ABC-TV affiliate in Washington, D.C., Smith attended the meeting to see how the school system was overseeing the case.
''I went to that school board meeting because my daughter had been sexually assaulted a few weeks prior," Smith told the station. "I never been to a school board meeting before. I only seen it on TV.
"I wanted to see what all the nonsense was about that I had seen and [was] reading about. I wanted to see it in real life because my family has unfortunately been pulled into this nightmare."
The incident led the Alexandria, Virginia-based National School Boards Association to send a letter to President Joe Biden asking for federal law enforcement to investigate what it saw as harassment and threats to board members nationwide.
Based on that letter, Attorney General Merrick Garland said the Department of Justice would contact local boards to address the issues.
Youngkin campaigned on parents' right to determine what their children should be taught, while McAuliffe said that parents should let the school districts oversee education.
''I'm not going to let parents come into schools and actually take books out and make their own decisions,'' McAuliffe said in a debate between the candidates in early October as reported by the National Review. ''I don't think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.''
Since that statement, Youngkin has gained ground on the Democrat.
''I think enough people in Virginia, enough people across the country, are going to say 'Hey, make sure we have our school boards represented by people that reflect our own community values,' and this election will be the manifestation of it,'' Braun said.
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