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Cindy Stuart and Alan Clendenin get key endorsements in bid for reelection to Hillsborough School Board

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Hillsborough County District 3 School Board member Cindy Stuart and district 7 candidate Alan Clendenin have been endorsed by the Hillsborough Classroom Teachers Association in her race for reelection to the seat.

In a letter sent to Stuart on May 16, members of the HCTA say that the union’s political committee voted to recommend her for an endorsement, and that recommendation will now be forwarded to the West Central Florida Federation of Labor for consideration and endorsement next month.

Stuart is running against Alicia Toler and Ramil Andrian Kaminsky in the Aug. 30 primary.

Neither candidate has raised much money in challenging Stuart, who has raised more than $12,000. Kaminsky, a Tampa attorney and small business owner, lists no contributions for the month of April, his first full month as a candidate. Toler has raised less than $500.

It’s Stuart’s first time back at the ballot box since being one of the four school board members to vote to oust MaryEllen Elia from her role as superintendent back in January of 2015. That controversial vote divided the Hillsborough County community, and led some some citizens and city officials to cry out about retribution at election time. Yet Stuart remains a strong favorite to eb reelected, at least at this point of the campaign.

The other member of that four board member coalition up for reelection, Susan Valdes, is also leading in fundraising in her District 1 race, having raised $16,670 to date. Her next closest competitor in terms of fundraising is retired educator William H. Person, who has raised $5,350.

The other two members of the school board who voted to terminate Elia, April Griffin and Sally Harris, aren’t up for reelection until 2018.

Clendenin is running for elected office for the first time. The vice-chair of the Florida Democratic Party and a Democratic National Committeeman is running against former Tampa City Councilman Joe Caetano.

 

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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