LAND O'LAKES — Joanne Hurley easily won re-election to the Pasco County School Board in Tuesday's nonpartisan primary election.
She defeated District 2 challenger Don Stephenson, making his first bid for office, claiming 68.5 percent of the vote to secure a second term in office.
"I am so thrilled," Hurley said. "I have just loved the past four years. To think the citizens of Pasco County liked my performance is just so gratifying."
Hurley, the board's chairwoman for the past two years, ran on her record, touting the board's ability to balance budgets during increasingly lean times without hurting the district's credit rating. She said the board worked diligently to make only temporary cuts to staffing and pay, although she acknowledged that the tough economy forced the board into difficult choices such as freezing salaries and failing to meet state class size requirements.
Stephenson, 41, sought to capitalize on such decisions, suggesting Hurley, 68, needed to back tougher measures such as privatizing services in order to secure the district's budget over the longer term.
Hurley generally ignored Stephenson's broadsides, referring to him only as "my opponent" and stating that she had a long history of community service while he had little to none. Her widespread recognition gave Hurley a clear edge in the voting.
District 4 board member Allison Crumbley faced no opposition in her reelection bid.