Pinellas teachers union endorses Clark in District 1
After not endorsing anyone in the August primary, the Pinellas Classroom Teachers Association has put its weight behind board member Janet Clark in her run-off with retired businessman Elliott Stern.
Clark, a former teacher, is seeking her third term on the Pinellas County School Board. Her District 1 seat is countywide.
Stern beat back two other challengers to get on the Nov. 6 ballot, including Jim Jackson, a retired college professor, and Shelly Ladd-Gilbert, a small business owner. Stern has a lot of support from members of the Pinellas Education Foundation, a business-led nonprofit that's been critical of the board's leadership. (See our story before the primary here and our election coverage here.)
Union leaders haven't formally announced the endorsement - they've been swamped with the tentative contract agreement with the school district - but plan to soon, executive director Marshall Ogletree said today. Both Clark and Stern were informed of the selection.
The union did endorse in the District 7 race before the primary. It selected Rene Flowers, a former St. Petersburg city councilwoman, over board member Glenton Gilzean, who was appointed to the south Pinellas seat by Gov. Rick Scott after the death of Lew Williams.
Ogletree isn't a voting member of the union committee that does endorsements, but he said it was likely that a consensus couldn't be reached before the primary for District 1. He said the field at that point was a "group of people all of which had something to offer."