In 1972, a man named Michael Moore became the youngest elected official in the history of the country.
Only months after the 26th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution took effect, giving the right to vote (and hold office) to 18-year-olds, Moore would win a seat on the Flint, Michigan, school board at that tender age on the platform of firing the principal. Seventeen years later, his debut film — the agitprop anti-capitalist documentary “Roger & Me” — became the darling of Hollywood and Moore has been a political celebrity ever since.
If that kind of career path can open for Moore with a youthful school board upset — with his dubious ethics and questionable reason for running in the first place — just imagine what’s possible for Nicholas Seppy.
Seppy, a 19-year-old from Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, scored an upset over Terre Alabarda in Tuesday’s elections by a 17-point margin, according to The College Fix.
The recent graduate of Egg Harbor Township High School ran against the incumbent board member after the Egg Harbor Township School District decided to limit most of its students to an online-only or hybrid model of learning during the 2021 school year.
Seppy ended up receiving 4,042 votes to Alabarda’s 2,830 in the nonpartisan election, with 100 percent of ballots counted.
However, even if the election itself was nonpartisan, it was clear where the young candidate’s sympathies lay.
“Seppy’s Instagram profile paints a picture of a very patriotic young man, with posts of American flags, gratitude for the military, Mount Rushmore and the U.S. Constitution,” the College Fix’s Matthew Wilson reported.
“His election platform also focused on pledging to represent the students’ best interests as well, according to his posts.”
Seppy had served as the student representative to the school board during the 2019-20 school year, it’s also worth noting.
In a statement to the College Fix, Seppy said the shutdowns, which began in March of 2020, were “awful.”
He added he decided to run “out of a desire to serve in [his] community” and to “give parents a voice in the district.”
As for his plans for the district, Seppy promised an increased focus on civics classes and vocational training.
Seppy’s 17-point victory represented two election-night trends: Upsets in New Jersey and education at the forefront of voters’ minds.
In the Garden State, incumbent Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy has held on to his seat, although the margin of victory was nowhere near what was originally expected.
Running against virtually unknown Republican candidate Jack Ciattarelli, Murphy currently leads by a little over 2 points; the RealClear Politics polling average showed him up by 7.8 points and no poll prior to late September which had Ciattarelli within single-digit striking distance of Murphy.
At least Murphy held on. State Senate Majority Leader Steve Sweeney appears to have not been so lucky. The South Jersey Democrat lost to Ed Durr, a truck driver who became a social media sensation when it was reported he’d only spent $153 on his campaign. This was later amended to $2,313.70 — but, as The Wall Street Journal noted, it was “far less than the $1,061,957 that Mr. Sweeney’s committee spent on polls, advertisements, consultants and fliers.”
It wasn’t the only upset. With some races yet to be called as of Saturday morning, according to NJ.com, the Democrats were likely to lose four to eight seats in the Assembly and at least one in the Senate, although they would still maintain majorities in both.
Furthermore, the big Republican win of the night — GOP candidate Glenn Youngkin winning the Virginia gubernatorial race over former Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe — saw battles over school curricula and critical race theory as a crucial factor.
A McAuliffe quote during the final debate between the two, “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach,” became emblematic of his campaign — as did the fact he held a rally on the final day of the campaign with Randi Weingarten, president of the United Federation of Teachers.
Weingarten, a major McAuliffe backer, had previously come under fire for retweeting a Washington Post article which described parents battling what’s taught in Virginia’s schools “paranoid” and a “frenzy,” adding that opposition to critical race theory was a “white racial grievance.”
— Randi Weingarten (@rweingarten) October 25, 2021
“Great piece on parents’ rights and [public schools],” Weingarten tweeted.
Critical race theory may not have played a part in Seppy’s race, but the issues are connected: The same school boards and educators who believed they had the power to shut down in-person learning long past the point where it was clear that it was safe to reopen schools tend to be the same ones who implement CRT-tastic learning plans and then lament parents who think they have any power to change them.
Seppy not only unseated one of the people who helped ruin his senior year, he seems like he’s got his head screwed on straight, as well. I predict bright things in the lad’s future. After all, if someone of Michael Moore’s dubious talents can use an upset school board victory as a small stepping stone to international fame, just picture what someone with a grasp on reality can do.