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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Who will run for Pasco schools superintendent?



browning.jpegFor more than a year, talk has swirled in Pasco County political and education circles about who might challenge Heather Fiorentino in the 2012 race for schools superintendent.

The only name that repeatedly came up was that of former elections supervisor Kurt Browning, a Democrat-turned-Republican who left the county to serve in Charlie Crist's administration. After he retired from the state, many observers pegged Browning — a friend of School Board vice chairman Allen Altman and ousted assistant superintendent Ray Gadd — as the likely standard bearer.

But now he's gone and returned to Tallahassee as Gov. Rick Scott's choice for secretary of state.

So now Pasco County enters 2011 asking the question anew: Who, if anyone, will run against Fiorentino, who has stated her intent to seek a third term?

Sure, the election is more than a year away. But think about it. To challenge Fiorentino, who has been in the public eye winning elections for decades without much scandal attached to her name, a challenger would need strong name recognition, a great reputation, solid backing and money.

Browning fit that definition. So, too, do a handful of other people in the county. But many have laughingly dismissed the notion of running (at least for now). It's never too early for speculation in politics. So let's hear it. Is anyone out there going to become a valid competitor for incumbent Fiorentino? Or is she becoming a shoo-in for another term?

[Last modified: Thursday, January 6, 2011 6:13am]


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