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Carol Cook, Joanne Lentino win at fundraising for the Pinellas School Board

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

With the final financial reports in before Tuesday’s election, the fundraising winners for the two available seats on the Pinellas County School Board are Joanne Lentino and Carol Cook.

Lentino, a retired teacher, has raised a total of $38,588 in her run for the District 1 seat on the board. Her opponent is Matt Stewart, an HR manager over talent management for Hillsborough County and a member of the adjunct faculty at St. Petersburg College. Stewart has raised a total of $34,440.

In the final reporting period from Oct. 22 through Nov. 3, Lentino raised $3,681. The bulk of that — $2,750 — came from unions: SEIU Florida Pac ($1,000), Millwrights and Machinists Pac ($1,000), Iron Workers Local 397 Pac ($500), and UCFW Local 1625 ($250).

Stewart brought in $2,400 during the same time period. Of that, $2,300 came from his own pocket.

The District 1 race is voted on countywide.

In the race for District 5, incumbent Cook raised a total of $31,245.74. Challenger Eliseo Santana, a retired communications maintenance supervisor at the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, raised a total of $28,545.

In the final reporting period, Santana outpaced Cook at fundraising, $1,500 to $760. But most of Santana’s came from one source — the Millwrights and Machinists Local 1000 Pac that donated $1,000. Among other donations, Cook received $150 from the Republican Club of Greater Largo.

District 5 covers a portion of mid-Pinellas County and is voted on only by residents of that area.

All school board races are nonpartisan.

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