Kurt Browning wins Pasco superintendent race in landslide; Hurley cruises to reelection on board
Former Florida secretary of state Kurt Browning thumped two-term Pasco schools superintendent Heather Fiorentino to take the helm of the school district in November. Browning claimed 65 percent of the ballots, compared to Fiorentino's 27 percent. Moon Lake handyman Ken Benson pulled 7 percent.
Browning said he was "starting to feel like I might win this thing" when absentee and early vote tallies showed him far ahead. But he didn't want to accept his victory until all 110 precincts reported, or Fiorentino called him to concede. Both happened at 7:44 p.m.
"It's going to take a team to fix the district," Browning told supporters. "People have said, 'Boy, you've got a lot of headaches ahead of you.' That's all right. We can fix this thing."
Fiorentino said she would work with Browning to ensure a smooth transition. Story here.
School Board chairwoman Joanne Hurley cruised to a reelection victory, winning 68.5 percent of the vote against challenger Don Stephenson. She said she hadn't paid attention to the results until her phone started ringing after 7 p.m. She was celebrating at Browning's party less than an hour later.
"I love this job," she said. "I am so happy."
Stephenson tweeted his reaction: "Well, that sucks."