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Ric Davis drops out of Pinellas School Board race

He cites his position on the county personnel board as a key factor.

Longtime community activist Ricardo “Ric” Davis has ended his campaign for the Pinellas School Board District 7 seat, leaving the field at four seeking to represent the county’s southern portion.

He dropped his bid one week after paying the $1,788 qualifying fee and saying he was “definitely in” the race to replace Rene Flowers, who is running for the Pinellas County Commission.

His change of heart came after taking a closer look at the Unified Personnel System Act. It states that no member of the personnel board, on which Davis serves as chairman, “may hold or be a candidate for any paid public office.”

“Due to this conflict, I am withdrawing my candidacy ... effective immediately,” Davis wrote in a two-paragraph letter to the county Supervisor of Elections Office.

In an email to the Tampa Bay Times, Davis also mentioned his continuing role with the Concerned Organization for Quality Education of Black Students — an organization focused on improving the experience for the district’s African-American children in schools.

Ensuring that work goes on is critical, he said. Part of his reason for running for School Board was to elevate the platform for that issue.

“I will consider supporting someone else,” Davis said.

The candidates remaining in the race are Fairmount Elementary science coach Caprice Edmond, Pinellas County Job Corps liaison Corey Givens Jr., retired principal Sharon Jackson and former St. Petersburg City Council member Karl Nurse.