For those of you who have been along for the ride with me since the early days, you very likely know one of the most polarizing anti-evolution characters of 2008: Ronda Storms. If you don’t know her or just need a refresher, Storms sponsored and went all in for a bill in the state Senate that was a response to the brand new state science standards that had just been approved at the time. Those new standards prominently featured evolution and Storms fumed at that. She filed SB 2692:
The Teaching of Chemical and Biological Evolution [SPCC]; Cites act as the “Evolution Academic Freedom Act.” Provides public school teachers with a right to present scientific information relevant to the full range of views on biological and chemical evolution. Prohibits a teacher from being discriminated against for presenting such information. Prohibits students from being penalized for subscribing to a particular position on evolution, etc.
It was approved by the Senate and the House approved its version of the same bill, but the two bills were very different and couldn’t be reconciled by the end of the legislative session, thus killing both. The huge fight made big news back then and made up all of chapter 10 “Who Gets to Decide What Is Science” in my book Going Ape: Florida’s Battles over Evolution in the Classroom. Storms had several colorful quotes and jaw-dropping things to say about evolution throughout the legislative session.
So, why am I rehashing this history? Because Storms is jumping back into politics: Ronda Storms is back, with a run for District 59 House seat.
She said she’s been repeatedly urged to get back into politics since leaving the state Senate in 2012 to run for property appraiser, losing to Bob Henriquez.
She previously served two terms as a commissioner, 1998-2006, and one and a half terms in the Senate starting in 2006.
In 2005, Storms started a kerluffle when she objected to a display of gay-themed books in a county library during a gay pride event, and successfully proposed a policy barring the county from recognizing gay pride events.
She advocated sterilization for people accused of child abuse and cutting off county money for Planned Parenthood.
And here’s another take on Storms’ announcement: Ronda Storms is back; don’t underestimate her.
She successfully fought to stop county funding for Planned Parenthood. As a state Senator, she pushed for intelligent design to be taught in public schools.
She is unabashed about her faith, her values, and what she wants to accomplish. She can be loud, abrasive, insulting, but mostly she is unafraid of consequences – political or otherwise.
The district she hopes to represent covers much of eastern and southern Hillsborough County and has a lot of rock-ribbed conservatives who basically think the way she does. Her name recognition with those folks alone is enough to make her formidable.
This should be very interesting!