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Miami-Dade School Board member says lieutenant governor telling people “bad things will happen” if they support re-election bid

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MIAMI – Miami-Dade Public School Board member Dr. Marta Perez alleges Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nunez has insisted people not support her campaign to keep her seat or “bad things will happen.”

Her District 8 opponent Monica Colucci’s campaign tells CBS4 that Perez is responding like this because she’s in a losing position, calling it an act of desperation.

“It’s a nightmare of intimidation to people who support me at every level,” said Perez.

Dr. Perez has served on the school board for 24 years in Miami-Dade.

She faces significant opposition in her re-election bid, alleging a former staffer left after receiving threats.

“Visited by the lieutenant governor and was told basically he had to drop me or he would lose a lot of business,” said Perez.

Nunez has made no secret whom she supports in the District 8 race.

In a statement, the lieutenant governor said, “Governor DeSantis and I fully endorse Monica Colucci in this race. This is called democracy, not sabotage. It is time for new leadership on our School Board, and Monica’s platform of parental rights, school choice, and no new taxes are what voters want for their children’s future.”

There was no response yet to allegations of intimidation.

Perez contends the support extends to threatening her supporters.

“If a person helps my campaign, they are visited and intimidated,” added Perez.

Colucci’s campaign political consultant tells CBS4 they vehemently deny the allegations.

“Marta Perez is at best delusional. At worst, she’s been outright dishonest.”

It continues that Colucci supporters “believe Perez has been there too long and out of touch with the district’s values.”

And that they trust Colucci’s experience working 26 years as an educator.

Perez says the campaign efforts against her online or in the mail distort her record and achievements, serving over two decades on the board.

“The nasty stuff their writing, lies, and misinformation,” shared Perez.

Perez’s campaign efforts feature signs highlighting her accomplishments and touting the district’s success in raising graduation rates to over 90% while outperforming neighboring districts.

“The forces that are behind my opponent are not for quality teachers and not for public education,” added Perez.

Perez again tells me donors and long-time friends no longer answer her calls because they’re afraid.

And, to be clear, Colucci’s team denies the allegations, saying their supporters believe it’s time for someone new that stands with the district values.

Perez tells us she’s never had the opportunity to speak with Lt. Gov. Nunez before sharing these allegations, despite repeated efforts.

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