Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Ernest Hooper analyzes School Board races in Districts 2, 4 and 6

Times columnist Ernest Hooper offers his analysis of key races for the Aug. 24 primary.

These are not endorsements.


Incumbent Jennifer Faliero remains confident even though this is clearly the strongest challenge she has faced since first winning election in 2002.

Well-reported personal challenges make her appear vulnerable and explain why she has drawn three opponents. Stacy White, a local pharmacist, Kirk Faryniasz, a retired Air Force veteran and a rare candidate from the South Shore area, both have strong credentials.

But it's former principal Richard Bartels who appears to be mounting the biggest challenge, having received an endorsement from the teachers union.

Faliero says while she doesn't have the endorsement of union leadership, she has the support of rank and file teachers. If she's right, she likely will end up in a runoff with Bartels where she will have to summon every vote to win re-election.

school board, district 6

Of the three opponents challenging incumbent April Griffin — Terry Kemple, Sally Harris and Ben Fink — Kemple may have the best chance of an upset. His work as a Christian conservative activist gives him name recognition, but his self-billing as a consensus builder shouldn't hide his previous stances against gay marriage, evolution and the separation of church and state.

Meanwhile, Griffin has proved to be a credible voice. She refuses to rubber-stamp staff recommendations and rightly advocates for technical and vocational education. In the end, she should triumph, but it will take a runoff.


So why do we care about what's largely known as the board's South Tampa seat? Well, not only will the winner of this race represent the South Shore area west of U.S. 301, but the district boundary also runs east and includes Brandon High.

Olson says she has put a lot of miles on her car getting out this way, but it's her high name recognition in the city that will likely carry her to victory. Opponent Frank Hernandez has to hope this foray will raise his profile and set the stage for a future run.

Ernest Hooper analyzes School Board races in Districts 2, 4 and 6 07/29/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 3:13pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Two boys in critical condition after Largo crash


    LARGO — A 7-year-old boy was thrown from a car in a head-on crash on Starkey Road, and both he and a 6-year-old boy were in critical condition Sunday night, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

  2. Trump's new order bars almost all travel from seven countries


    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Sunday issued a new order banning almost all travel to the United States from seven countries, including most of the nations covered by his original travel ban, citing threats to national security posed by letting their citizens into the country.

    President Donald Trump speaks to reporters Sunday upon his return to the White House in Washington.
  3. Somehow, Rays' Chris Archer remains just shy of being an ace

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — Chris Archer had another bad game Sunday.

    Chris Archer is sputtering to the finish line, his rough start on Sunday his fourth in his past five in which he hasn’t gotten past four innings.
  4. In Mexico City, hopes of finding quake survivors dwindle


    MEXICO CITY — Five days after the deadly magnitude 7.1 earthquake, the hulking wreckage of what used to be a seven-story office building is one of the last hopes: one of just two sites left where searchers believe they may still find someone trapped alive in Mexico City.

    Rescue workers search for survivors inside a felled office building in the Roma Norte neighborhood of Mexico City on Saturday.
  5. GOP health bill in major peril as resistance hardens among key senators


    WASHINGTON — The floundering Republican attempt to undo the Affordable Care Act met hardening resistance from key GOP senators Sunday that left it on the verge of collapse even as advocates vowed to keep pushing for a vote this week.

    Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, a moderate, said Sunday that it was “very difficult” to envision voting for this health-care bill.