A tribute to last-minute sign waver, Kent Curtis

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Pinellas County School Board candidate Kent Curtis is taking advantage of every minute in his battle to unseat incumbent Peggy O’Shea.

Curtis, a USF St. Pete professor, took to the corner of 38Avenue North and 4 Street with a gang of six supporters including two elementary-aged kids with signs hoping to lure a few more votes before polls close at 7.

Earlier today, Curtis waved signs at the corner of Tyrone Boulevard and 66 Street and spent part of the day calling voters.

“In many ways I’ve been running against the status quo,” Curtis said. “I think people are tired of [that.]”

Curtis’s opponent, O’Shea, has been relatively quite in her campaigning. She missed at least one chance to woo voters at a Suncoast Tiger Bay luncheon earlier this month. And her website has been down, is still down, for maintenance. That’s something Curtis sees as a likely advantage.

“In the eleventh hour if people are looking for information, they can’t find it,” Curtis said.

 Curtis is perhaps most well known for his work on the Edible Peace Patch, which teaches kids how to garden. Supporters campaigning for him lauded that as something that makes him a breath of fresh air for people concerned about the trajectory of Pinellas schools.

“There could not be a better candidate,” Stonewall Democrats president Susan McGrath said. “He’s already done so much with students.

Win or lose, Curtis and his supporters will be at the Three Birds Tavern in St. Pete.

“But, I never planned to lose,” Curtis said. “I plan to win.”

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email janelle@floridapolitics.com.