TAMPA — Carol Kurdell held the lead Tuesday night in a hotly contested race for the Hillsborough School Board against challenger Stephen Gorham.
With two-thirds of the precincts reporting, Kurdell was feeling confident about her bid for a fifth term in office.
"People believed in our campaign. They know that the work always continues for children," she said. "Times change and circumstances change, and you have to adapt with that."
The countywide race pitted experience against a fresh face. Kurdell, 63, argued that her work wasn't completed after 16 years in office. Gorham, 30, made the case for change.
Kurdell faced her stiffest competition in years. The top vote getter in a three-way August primary, she fell short of winning a majority. So she and Gorham advanced to a general election runoff. The campaign saw a unusual level of partisan politicking for a nonpartisan election.
Gorham, an administrator at Hillsborough Community College, got high-profile endorsements from the unions representing the Hillsborough teachers and the district's blue-collar employees. He was not ready to call anything at press time, with many votes still uncounted.
Letitia Stein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 226-3400.