Governor declares McGraw’s seat vacant


Governor Ron DeSantis has issued Executive Order 21-147, declaring Diyonne McGraw’s seat on the Alachua County School Board vacant. The vacancy is effective immediately. The order says the governor will fill the seat in compliance with the law.

In a press conference this evening, Jeff Childers said the order was issued at 5:11 p.m today, adding, “It is our position that the governor didn’t have a choice. The constitution requires the governor to fill a vacant school board seat when there is a vacancy, and it says exactly what a vacancy means, and in that statute and under the Florida Constitution, a vacancy shall occur when a member fails to maintain their residency in the district. The letter that we sent to the governor… just very simply said that the constitution and the statute say that there is a vacancy, and it’s his job to declare that vacancy and then fill it. So we’re very gratified that the governor agreed to carry out his constitutional and statutory duties and issue this order.”

Plaintiff Marlon Bruce said, “I want to thank the governor for upholding the law. Again, this was never a matter of left vs. right but rather right vs. wrong… Ms. McGraw was in her seat unlawfully, and the governor decided to take [this] action… For that, I am grateful, and I am thankful we have this resolution.”

Plaintiff Khahn-Lien Banko said, “I want to thank the governor for acting expeditiously when the matter came to his attention. This couldn’t have happened without the citizens of Alachua County who stood up to right a wrong, and I want to thank everyone who [supported us] and I want to thank Jeff… This is kind of step one, and I appreciate everybody’s support, and I especially appreciate the governor acting today.” 

Childers said that he will speak to the plaintiffs before deciding whether to proceed with the remaining parts of their lawsuit, including a request that all previous 3-2 votes be voided if McGraw was in the majority. Childers also said he didn’t have much information about the process of appointing a replacement or how long it might take. The person who is appointed to fill the seat will finish out McGraw’s term.

The Governor’s EO may be viewed here.

    • I’m quite sure some will be playing the party/race card before the fire is out on this one. Bottom line… McGraw fought the law and the law won!

      Many thanks to the Governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, for letting the people in Gainesville and Alachua County know that he is the Chief Executive in the state and the laws governing the state of Florida will not be violated or infringed upon.

  • You all have a source. It would be great if your documents were downloadable.

  • Can’t wait to hear someone tell McNealy…”FAIL!”

    We’ll circle back to that…

  • Congrats guys! Now someone please help us over in Marion County with pastor Eric Cummings!!!

  • After watching TV20’s attempt at getting McGraw’s reaction to Governor DeSantis’ action, it is quite evident how little character she has. What is alarming, is the statement that the chair made regarding her intent of “appeal, appeal and appeal.”

    Hmmm, who are the real transgressors here? The chair and her cohorts are not interested in doing what’s in the best interests of our children – no matter the lies and deceptive words they choose to hide behind. Great example for our children.

    • It’s written in black and white… unfortunately, these “woke” individuals only see the white.

  • If Ms Jackson, yes that nasty, foul-mouthed, racist self-appointed savior for the black community can read, read this…you should be absolutely ashamed and embarrassed at the so called “example” you set.

    She is a complete idiot and speaks, take that back, rants like a lunatic. She obviously has mental issues. Maybe she should address that before she engages in addressing community issues.

    As involved as black community leaders are with the church, any church leader should be equally ashamed of the vulgarities and vitriol that spews from her mouth. Even the movie “Scarface” allowed Al Pacino to take a breath between rants.

  • The right thing to do would be to put in place the person she ran against–it is that simple. Negate her previous votes. Begin again–

  • I found Ms. McGraw more caring and concerned about critical literacy issues than given credit for. The children have list a voice. I hope our governor finds an advocate for children.

    • I found Ms. McGraw to be more in line with Ms. McNealy’s and Ms. Certain’s racially motivated anger than about the children within the school district. Some of her/their supporters are already making threats to sitting WHITE members across ALL forms of government. Racism does not work one way – it can and does exist in both directions.

      I hope whoever is appointed or elected to the position will stop the division that currently exists. Say what you want, the hostility on the SBAC did not exist until Ms. McNealy took the reins as chair. Maybe she still has resentment for having been removed as a principal. Whatever the cause for her anger issues, she should probably seek some form of counseling. Perhaps they can have a group session with some of the others who demonstrate those same behaviors. It works for AA members.

      An advocate for ALL children, no matter the color of their skin and no matter the side of Main Street they live on is what’s needed. Stop blaming a person’s color and identify the root cause of disparity within the district.

  • I think the black descendants of slaves who choose to remain here in Gainesville after almost 150 years since “Juneteenth” should realize there is a big world out there and they (especially their kids) can aspire for more. Black people in South Florida (where there is no ‘historical baggage’ of slavery in the past) seem a lot happier, more motivated, and less stuck in the past. Consequently, their kids are more driven toward wanting to succeed. They are not “stuck.”

    • Wow you got it all figured out living off of generational wealth.

      • Typical… let’s just transfer your feeling of inadequacy and lack of taking responsibility to someone else instead of accepting the consequences of your own inactions.

        Wow! How old were you before someone woke you?

    • Wow you got it all figured out living off of generational wealth your descendants made off the back of slaves before Juneteenth

      • You crack me up! Try telling that to Denzel, Morgan or Thomas. They would laugh just as hard.

        I don’t know of any slaves that were serving “masters” on June 18, 2021 except those enslaved by the Gainesville City and Alachua County Commissions. Why don’t you cry to those masters to free us from high taxes, high utility rates and their idiocy?

        Maybe you should stop smoking that crack and stop blaming others.

  • Was the Diyonne McGraw situation Alachua County Supervisor of Elections Kim A. Barton’s only “mistake” in office? Why is Barton still in office?

  • The wimpy judge didn’t finish her job, it is obvious that she lived in the wrong district for her candidacy whether intentional or not, and complicit with the Supervisor of Elections or not. New person will be appointed, Governor, I am willing to serve out the rest of her term and will not run thereafter. Our children should come first here, and learning that we have laws for a reason and they get followed will be a good lesson for them to see this “played out.” I and a few others use our own names, you “keyboard warriors” afraid to put you name behind the comments you make, shame on you.

    • If you live in the district & truly place the needs of the children first and don’t pander to political motivations I’m all for it. If not, you’re no better than the last person who sat in that chair.

      As far as shame, unless you’ve been living in an alternate universe for the past 6 months, you know the “cancel culture” is very much a threat to anyone who has a different opinion.

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