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The ranks of hopefuls for Pasco School Board continue to swell



Apparently, folks in Pasco County have not heard the phrase "eight is enough."

With the candidacies of George D. Brazier and J. Steve Luikart, we've arrived at 14 aspirants for four School Board seats. Only one is an incumbent. And that's three months before the qualifying deadline.

The tally breaks down like this:

  • District 1 -- Incumbent Allen Altman is unopposed so far.
  • District 3 -- Sallie Skipper, Cynthia Armstrong and Mike Ryan are vying for the seat being vacated by three-term member Cathi Martin.
  • District 4 -- Billie Kaleel, John Tracy, Steven Kanakis, Alison Crumbley and Harold F. Hedrick II all want to take the position that incumbent Kathryn Starkey is leaving to seek a Florida House seat.
  • District 5 -- Brazier, Luikart, Donna Munsen, Karen King and Laura Semer have put their names in contention to replace retiring board member Frank Parker.

Brazier, a special education teacher at Gulf High School, said he believed his knowledge of the school system would bring a needed school-based perspective to the board. He also has four young children, and his wife is head of elementary guidance for the district.

"They'll all be affected by what is going on," said Brazier, who said his primary motivation will be keeping students the first priority.

Luikart is a retired school administrator (he retired in 2008 as an assistant principal at River Ridge High) who has deep roots in the county (his family moved here in 1912).

"I think I can bring a perspective to the board that would be beneficial to students," Luikart said, adding he decided to run after reading a letter in the newspaper urging educators to step up.

It's likely that not all of these candidates will make the ballot. They have to collect thousands of signatures or pay thousands of dollars to secure a spot. There's time, though. And we'll be keeping tabs. If you've got questions for us to ask them, let us know. And stay tuned.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:52am]


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