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Gradebook

Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

School Board election politics

14

October

Carolkurdell_2Candidates aren't the only ones getting steamed over the Hillsborough School Board race.

The district's blue collar workers union, the Hillsborough School Employees Federation, is filing an ethics complaint against incumbent Carol Kurdell.

HSEF claims Kurdell was campaigning at a Sept. 16 board meeting when she stated that a bus driver had been told not to talk to her. The reason? The union had not endorsed her, she said. HSEF endorsed her opponent, Stephen Gorham.

Union president Luis Perez showed up at last week's board meeting to complain: "Ms. Kurdell used her public position to broadcast this statement over a public television broadcast of the School Board meeting in an attempt to gain sympathy as a victim for potential voters. She is the one who made this a public issue before election, not me."

He drew gasps from school employees in the audience with a parting dig. He asked viewers to vote for Gorham on Nov. 4.

Perez said he waited for Kurdell to call after the meeting, but it never came. So he has filed a complaint with the Florida Commission on Ethics.

Kurdell sees little good faith in the effort. She said she does not reply to threats of legal action, as Perez mentioned in an e-mail to her. She said Perez had misunderstood her, but he could have picked up a phone to talk at any time.

"I am extremely disgusted by the partisan politics that is going on in this election," Kurdell said. "I've never been exposed to it in all of my years of running for office, and it really saddens me that we have devolved to this level. It doesn't serve the students of Hillsborough County well."

She noted that School Board elections are nonpartisan races.

(Photo: Carol Kurdell)

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[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:00am]

    

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