Political newcomer Jerry Milby trounced veteran campaigner Anna Calleri in Tuesday's runoff for the Republican nomination in Hernando School Board District 2.
With 100 percent of the precincts reporting, Milby had 76 percent of the vote to Calleri's 24 percent.
"I think my platform and qualifications were instrumental" in the win, Milby said. "Recommendations from various organizations in the county and individuals also were helpful to me."
Milby, 48, said Calleri also contributed to his victory. "I think there were a number of issues that surfaced in Mrs. Calleri's campaign that became controversial," he said. "Some statements she made (and) she wasn't able to validate became detrimental."
Calleri, 50, said several times during the campaign that she had successfully lobbied the Florida Senate for $13.5-million to be used for educational purposes in Hernando County. However, state officials denied the claims. Calleri could not be reached for comment Tuesday night.
Milby is a real estate agent who moved to Spring Hill in 1990. The retired Army helicopter pilot and adjunct professor has been a substitute teacher and has volunteered in the county's public schools.
This was Calleri's third try for a School Board post. Her first bid, in 1988, ended in defeat by incumbent Leland McKeown; she lost in 1992 to Jim Malcolm by two votes.
Milby will face Democrat Dominick A. Ruggiero Jr. in the November election. The winner will replace retiring School Board member Gail Coleman.
_ Staff writer Lisa Buie contributed to this report.