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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Hernando School Board hopeful picking up stakes for politics

30

October

BROOKSVILLE -- One Hernando School Board candidate says he’s so passionate about enacting change, he’s willing to move for the chance.

Meanwhile, the current board member whose seat Keane Chapman is gunning for says she still hasn’t decided whether she will run for re-election.

Chapman, 40, currently lives with his wife and two children on Forest Wood Court in East Linden Estates, not far north of County Line Road. That’s in District 4. Chapman filed last week to run for the District 3 seat currently held by Dianne Bonfield, who is in her first four-year term.

District 3 is mostly north of Cortez Boulevard and west of the city of Brooksville.

Chapman says his house is for sale and that he doesn’t need to wait for it to sell before purchasing a new one. He says his family has a couple of houses in mind in District 3 and plans to move early next year, in plenty of time for the legal deadline that requires School Board candidates to reside in the district by the qualifying period. That runs from June 14 to 18.

“The reason for our move is due to how passionately I feel about this,” said Chapman, who works as national sales manager for Alumi-Guard Inc. in Brooksville. “I feel like the school district needs new leadership.”

Vi Coogler, a Brooksville resident who has filed for the seat, called Hernando elections supervisor Annie Williams to make sure her office was aware of Chapman’s residency status.

It was, Williams said.

When candidates submit paperwork to run, “We let them know if they’re in the district,” she said. “There is a note in his file that he’s in District 4.”

Bonfield has yet to file and says she is still thinking about whether she’ll try to keep the seat. She said the board’s plate is too full to consider her political future right now.

“I can’t get politics involved in all of the decisions that are coming before us now,” she said. “The new school, the superintendent search, magnet (school) policy. Just a myriad of issues, so I’m putting those before my own personal issues.”

Hernando has a long history of poltical candidates filing out of district. Likely the most infamous incident came during the 2006 election, when then-County Commission candidate Rose Rocco drew a lawsuit from incumbent Nancy Robinson. Rocco prevailed after a long court battle because she lived in the district at the time of her election, which is the deadline for County Commission candidates.

-- Tony Marrero, Times Staff Writer

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:40am]

    

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