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It’s a close fundraising contest in the Pinellas School Board District 5 race

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

The three candidates for the District 5 seat on the Pinellas County School Board are in a close race when it comes to fundraising.

Incumbent Carol Cook, a former teacher who has served on the board since 2000, is holding on to the lead by an edge with $6,675 raised in cash and in-kind donations. But challenger Eliseo Santana Jr. is just $127 behind with $6,548 in cash and in-kind funds. Santana is a retired communications maintenance supervisor who worked for the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.

The third candidate, Mike Petrucelli, isn’t far behind the two front-runners. Petrucelli, who serves on the Indian Shores Town Council, has raised $5,300 in cash and in-kind.

The three are vying for the District 5 seat, which covers the southern portion of north Pinellas including Clearwater and some of the beach communities. They are elected by voters who live in that district.

The seven Pinellas School Board members serve four-year terms. The nonpartisan election is Aug. 30.

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