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Morales drops out of campaign

BROOKSVILLE — One of two candidates who could boast of firsthand experience in the Supervisor of Elections Office has decided not to run for the job after all.

Kyro Morales, who in six years worked his way up to a brief stint as assistant elections supervisor, withdrew from the race Thursday. The 35-year-old Republican was the first to file for the seat, before Democrat Annie Williams confirmed that she would retire at the end of her third term.

"At this point, running a campaign is just too much for me and my family," the married father of two children told the Tampa Bay Times. "I didn't think it was fair to be soliciting funds and wasting taxpayers' money by running in a race I could no longer commit to."

The move leaves the race a little less crowded.

So far, the Republican candidates are Shirley Anderson, the 53-year-old district coordinator for U.S. Rep. Rich Nugent; Mark Caskie, 52, a code enforcement officer for the city of Brooksville; and Jason Yungmann, a 37-year-old longtime social studies teacher for the Hernando County school district who heads the social studies department at Explorer K-8 School in Spring Hill.

The lone Democrat in the race so far is now the only candidate who can tout experience in the elections office. Elizabeth Townsend, 38, has served as director of operations since December 2010.

Williams tapped Morales to serve as assistant supervisor last fall but by then he'd already accepted a position with Highland Fresh Technologies in Mulberry.

Williams has said she will not make an endorsement in the race.

Anderson, a longtime aide to Nugent's predecessor, Ginny Brown-Waite, unsuccessfully challenged Williams in 2008. She will likely garner plenty of support from the county's GOP establishment.

Morales, a member of the Hernando County Republican Executive Committee, said he also enjoyed support of "many" REC members. He said he does not plan to make an endorsement.

"I think (voters) should hear all of the candidates' views before making a decision," he said.

Tony Marrero can be reached at (352) 848-1431 or tmarrero@tampabay.com.

Morales drops out of campaign 03/15/12 [Last modified: Thursday, March 15, 2012 6:49pm]

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