IN MY ORBIT: Kira Davis Is the Parent's Voice and the Parent's Choice for Capistrano School Board

Kira Davis is a Mama Bear Running for CUSD School Board (Credit: Jennifer Oliver O'Connell)

This is the third article in the series, “All Politics is Local.”

Kira Davis is doing all she can to finish this Capistrano Unified School District School Board (CUSD) race, and finish it well. It’s a monumental task for a grassroots candidate who does not have big union or special interest backing. With only 12 days until the November midterms, Davis is committed to doing something every day until the elections to connect with parents and families in her southern California community–whether it be phone banking, precinct walking, sign waving, or blanketing social media.


As I explained in the second article of my “All Politics is Local” series, Davis is running for CUSD’s Trustee District 2 in a special election. The previous trustee, Pamela Braunstein resigned earlier this year, reportedly for what she claimed to be harassment over her support of COVID-19 policies. Davis, who as a parent has been battling the school board over these policies that have upended hers, and other CUSD parents’ lives—and more critically the lives of their children—was anxious to jump in. This was even with the further inconvenience of mounting a campaign, and the disruption in work and normal family routines.

As Davis said at the October 19 Parents’ Rally,

“Now is the time to get uncomfortable. Now is the time to do hard things.”

“Desperate times call for desperate measures, and yeah, I think it is going to cost us a little bit to fight this. But, I do believe parents have the will, if they have the [school] board that supports them.”


On Saturday, I spent the morning precinct-walking with Davis, and her equally motivated and excited group of volunteers. One them is a grandmother named Sheryl McDermott, who has been a consistent “Kira for School Board” volunteer. I asked Sheryl why she was committed to this candidate and this race.

“Well, first, I love her. I just think she’s got the best for parents, McDermott said.

“She has the voice for parents. She is a parent. She cares about the parents, she cares about all children. For what I see is happening in our country and our state, and our city, it’s important that we have someone that backs all of this up and that stands up—and I know she will stand up for the truth, and that’s what we really need.

“So, she’s very special and I’ve seen her on different shows, and it just resonates with me that this is where I feel that I’m called to. I’m a grandmother. I would never do this if I wasn’t called to do this, so I’m very blessed to be here too.”

Grandparents for Kira signage, with Sheryl McClintock and Kira Davis. Credit: Kira Davis for School Board, used with permission.


Straight from the mouth of someone in the community who cares about not only her grandchildren, but other people’s children. Kira’s got the parents’ back, especially those parents who feel as though they have been ignored by the CUSD school board.

Kira Davis and volunteer Sheryl. (Credit: Jennifer Oliver O’Connell)


Kira Davis for Capistrano School Board volunteer team. (Credit: Jennifer Oliver O’Connell)


Ignoring parental concerns has been the general tenor throughout CUSD for the past two years. Even post-pandemic, there is still great division surrounding the COVID-19 policies. The current board has repeatedly refused to vote on an official mask choice resolution, or to take a firm stance on vaccine policies.

Then there is the drama still unfolding at San Juan Hills High School concerning a teacher who bragged about her pornographic and queer library that she keeps for her students to access. This has raised an understandable furor among parents, and created national news attention that the CUSD Board does not want. Finally, the tragic tale of a Viejo Elementary School first grader, who was targeted and punished by the principal and school counselor without her parent’s knowledge, has laid bare the fractures that exist. The board appears to stand for their own self-interest (read: Sacramento COVID dollars) rather than the concerns of the parents.


This is why Davis is running, to be a voice for the parents. As she said at last week’s Parents’ Rally:

“YOU’RE a voice. I’m just running to be the symbol of that representation.”

Like a general rallying her troops, Davis assembled her volunteers and gave them the battle plan to distribute her campaign flier, along with the local and national Republican candidates brochure. The Trustee 2 District is a non-partisan position, but endorsements do not necessarily have to be. Davis has been endorsed by both the Orange County Republican Party and the Lincoln Club of Orange County, a conservative organization.

Not being familiar with what happens on a precinct walk, I asked Davis how many houses she planned to hit.

“I could probably do a couple of 100,” she nonchalantly replied.

This is the life of a grassroots campaigner, and Davis takes it in stride.

“My favorite part is walking around the communities and meeting people.”

But it is also a necessary part of being heard above the noise, or in California’s case, the malaise.

“So, in small races, name recognition is everything, right? It’s more important than telling people like what you stand for, yeah. Because a lot of people are just going to look at that ballot and see if they recognize someone, and that’s the name they’re going to check. So, that means I’ve got to be—that’s why, like today, it’s just good to get out and drop the fliers,” she said.

“These things get thrown away immediately. You have two seconds between the door and the trash can to catch someone’s attention, and that’s the two seconds I’m aiming for.

“That’s where the wins are.”


Davis is a recognizable face and name among conservative circles (I knew about her for years before I ever met or worked with her). [Disclaimer: Kira is currently Deputy Managing Editor at RedState.] Davis is also a national presence on news stations like Fox News and Newsmax, along with her podcast, “Just Listen To Yourself.”

But in a bastion of Orange County that has become increasingly liberal, she has to not only get her parents and children-first message heard, but combat a well-oiled opponent, businessman and former Irvine Unified School District (IUSD) President and Trustee Michael Parham. Parham is backed by the Capistrano Unified Education Association (CUEA), the local teachers union. He touts his experience in finance and as president of the prestigious (and monied) IUSD as the reason he should serve in the District 2 seat.

In 2016, when Parham was scheduled to be termed out after 12 years on IUSD, he ran for District 3 as a Trustee for the Orange County Board of Education. Parham did not get past the primary, and sometime between 2016 and 2018, his family moved further south to Rancho Mission Viejo, within District 2, and soon after, he decided to run for the seat. Parham told the Epoch Times,

“I’m running because I care about quality public schools. I know how to run a successful school district and I felt this is my duty to my local community.”


Parham has also done very little in the way of campaigning. In terms of social media, his Instagram has six posts, his campaign Facebook page has all of four—none of them campaign related. No “meet the candidate” events, no moving among constituents, and most interesting, no candidate forums. His campaign Twitter has ZERO tweets. When Parham ran in 2016 for Orange County Board of Education he was much more active. With this campaign, it’s almost as if he is phoning it in.

This is especially apparent with opportunities to meet the District 2 constituents and debate his positions on the topics that concern parents. Parham, along with a third candidate, Jessica Hubbard (who has since withdrawn from the race) were scheduled for an October 6 Candidates’ Forum hosted by the non-partisan organization the Ladera Ranch Civic Council.

Capistrano USD Trustee 2 candidates (Credit: Kira Davis for School Board)


Parham withdrew from this forum. When the same group mounted an amended version of the forum on October 10, Parham refused to attend. At the October 19 CUSD Board meeting, the last one before the November election, Parham made a Zoom appearance at the meeting, and advocated for someone to host a debate.

One of the representatives of the Ladera Ranch Civic Council was at that meeting, and Davis tapped him to host the debate.

Davis says that Parham has declined to debate her.


I find it interesting that Davis has been a part of the community for over 13 years, while Parham has been in the district only four years. One would think that he would be most interested in getting to know more people within a district where he is the new face, so he can build relationships, and make his policy positions known.

Some would call what he is doing carpetbagging. The voters of District 2 will be the ones who decide.

In the final days leading up to November 8, Davis plans to be at the GOP headquarters office in Newport Beach to phone bank, and has invited volunteers to join her. I asked Davis what keeps her activated and committed to finishing well and winning this race.

“At the end of the day, our lives are here and our kids are here, and what happens to my kids and the families around me is important.”

To support Davis’ campaign, visit


Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Trending on RedState Videos