While more well-known politicians ponder their moves, construction company owner Kenneth W. Benson of Moon Lake has jumped into the Republican primary for Pasco County schools superintendent against incumbent Heather Fiorentino.
Benson, 52, described himself first as a "decorated veteran," having served in the Army from 1977-1980. His son is a freshman at River Ridge High, enrolled in the ROTC program. He's also the owner of Eagle One Property Services, a company he acknowledged "isn't doing as well as it was," but it's still hanging on.
Seeking his first elected office if he can get enough signatures to qualify for the ballot, Benson said he's not running against Fiorentino but rather for the chance to cut back the bureaucracy and politics that he thinks play too prominent a role in the school system.
"Too many things are dragged out when it's a simple 'yes' or a simple 'no,'" he said, contending that some decisions take longer to make than it took the country to fight World War II. "I'm not for waste and I'm not for bureaucracy. If a teacher wants to do something and it falls within the guidelines, do it."
Qualifying for the August race comes in June.