Times columnist Ernest Hooper offers his analysis of key races for the Nov. 2 general election. These are not endorsements.
School Board, District 4
In a normal year, Richard Bartels' experience as a former principal would lead to victory in his bid for the School Board.
But this is not a normal year.
Despite his track record as a school administrator and the endorsement of the teachers union, Bartels finished second to pharmacist Stacy White in the August primary. Now the two face each other in a runoff, and some pundits give White the edge, particularly when you consider they both finished ahead of incumbent Jennifer Faliero.
Two interesting side aspects: White has "Dr." on all his campaign signs, which one pundit theorized could give him an edge for those unfamiliar with the race.
The same can be said for the name "Stacy." Again, voters who prefer women could vote for White based solely on that name, even though he's a man.
In the end, however, I think the informed will prefer an outsider in this contest, and that's the real edge for White.
School Board, District 6
I thought this would come down to a runoff between incumbent April Griffin and activist Terry Kemple, but Sally Harris emerged as the challenger.
Griffin likely breathed a sigh of relief, and she appears to be the favorite. Still, Harris can't be underestimated. She will likely fare well with South Tampa voters.
Griffin counters with a solid record of accomplishment during her first tenure. She has shown a willingness to challenge the school administration on certain issues, an appealing aspect for voters who want greater accountability of the district.
That spirit should carry Griffin to victory.