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School Board hopeful surfaces

Jack Mariano says there are two reasons he's running for School Board's District 5 seat. They are Amber, 6, and Lauren, 7.

His daughters attend Dayspring Academy for the Performing Arts, Pasco's first charter school. Both girls attended private preschool.

Mariano's campaign against incumbent Kathleen Wolf is his first run at public office.

The 42-year-old moved to Florida with his wife, Michelle, seven years ago from Massachusetts. He works at the Ed Morse Auto Plaza in Port Richey, where, he said, he is a top salesman.

An avid golfer, Mariano runs charity golf tournaments for schools, civic groups and other community organizations. One of his tournaments helped the Holiday Kiwanis raise $5,000 in scholarships for local graduates, he said.

Mariano, who lives at 12860 Ironwood Circle in Bayonet Point, described himself as a conservative, and said he wants schools to be more welcoming to parents. That's one reason his children attend a charter school, he said.

"I'm a proponent of any school that gets parents involved, public or otherwise," he said. "With the amount of money we're spending, we can improve. I'll ask a lot more questions and I'll look into a lot more things."

He said the School Board "seems to do an awful lot of rubber stamping."

Although School Board races this year are nonpartisan, Mariano is a Republican.