Friday, January 19, 2018
Politics

Retiring Springstead principal files at deadline to run for Hernando School Board

BROOKSVILLE — The deadline for candidates to file for the coming elections came and went Friday in Hernando County with few surprises.

But there was one big development.

Retiring Springstead High School principal Susan Duval filed to run for the District 5 School Board seat, joining incumbent Cynthia Moore and challengers Robert Neuhausen and Anna Liisa Covell. Duval, who has worked in the district since 1969, retires at the end of the month after 11 years as Springstead's principal.

"I want to somehow continue to be of service to this school system," said Duval, 67. She said the idea of retiring and sitting still did not sit well with her. "I have to keep active," she said.

The District 5 race is the most crowded of the three nonpartisan School Board races, but all have drawn contenders.

District 1 incumbent John Sweeney will face Mark Johnson and Don Whiting. Jay Rowden will square off with Beth Naverud for the open District 3 seat, which is currently held by Dianne Bonfield, who is not seeking re-election.

There are two seats up for grabs on the Hernando County Commission. In the District 2 race, sitting commission Chairman Wayne Dukes, a Republican, will face Democrat Jimmy Lodato and Brian Moore, who has no party affiliation. Republicans Jeff Holcomb and Laurie Pizzo will face off in the Aug. 26 primary election for the District 4 seat. The winner will then face Democrat Dan Oliver and H. David Werder, who has no party affiliation, in November. Commissioner Dave Russell, the current District 4 commissioner, decided not to seek another term.

The races to fill Brooksville's three open City Council positions wound up a one-seat contest with candidates Natalie Kahler (Seat 5) and Robert "Butch" Battista (Seat 1) drawing no opposition. Battista and Kahler will fill the positions currently held by Joe Bernardini and Lara Bradburn, respectively, who have reached their term limits.

The contest for Seat 4, currently held by Kevin Hohn, will be between Vivian "Vi" Coogler, Betty Erhard and William "Bill" Kemerer.

County Judge Kurt Hitzemann won without opposition.

Four candidates will seek the District 35 state House seat, with incumbent Rep. Rob Schenck reaching term limits. Running for the seat are Republican Blaise Ingoglia, Democrat Rose Rocco and no-party candidates Hamilton Hanson and James Scavetta.

According to the state's election website, Wilton Simpson will step into his first full term as a state senator without opposition. Simpson replaced Mike Fasano in the Senate in 2012.

Staff writers Barbara Behrendt and Logan Neill contributed to this report.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction: Don Whiting is one of three candidates for the District 1 seat on the Hernando County School Board. His name was omitted from a story published Saturday.

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