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On the Pinellas School Board campaign trail, one issue dominates

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It’s probably not surprising, but if you’re running for re-election to the Pinellas County School Board, you can expect questions about the conditions of five schools in south and mid-county branded by the media as “failure factories.” That’s the case even if you’re running for seat voted on only by residents in northernmost Pinellas County, Ken Peluso said. “You cannot deny the attitude of the general public and the way they see the schools,” Peluso said. “There are a lot…

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Ken Peluso stockpiles endorsements in the race for Pinellas School Board

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Ken Peluso has amassed 39 endorsements in his quest to remain on the Pinellas County School Board. Peluso is facing teacher Eileen Long, a first-time candidate, in the non-partisan election. Peluso’s endorsements, listed on his website, read like a directory of Pinellas County political powerbrokers. They include former U.S. Rep. Mike Bilirakis, U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, state Sen. Jack Latvala, former state Sen. Dennis Jones, state Reps. Chris Sprowls, Chris Latvala and James Grant. All are Republicans. Also on the list:…

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Ken Peluso leads all other candidates in fundraising for Pinellas School Board races

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When it comes to fundraising, Ken Peluso is the leader of the nine-person pack running for the three open seats on the Pinellas School Board. Peluso, who is running for re-election to the District 4 single-member seat, has raised a total of $20,180. Of that, $3,650 was raised last month. Most of that — $3,000 — was from a loan he made to himself. His opponent in the race, Eileen Long, is trailing with a total of $4,996. 80. The…

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Nine candidates qualify for three slots on Pinellas School Board

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Pinellas voters will have a chance to put several new faces on the school board during the Aug. 30 election. When the smoke cleared after qualifying ended Friday, nine were running for the three open seats on the seven-member board. Here’s how the races stack up. The race for the at-large District 1 seat, which is voted on countywide, is the most crowded with four candidates: Robert J. Beal, Bill Dudley, Joanne Lentino and Matt Stewart. Alex Powers had announced…

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Fourth candidate enters race for District 1 on Pinellas School Board

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With qualifying coming to an end, a fourth candidate has entered the race for Pinellas School Board. Robert J. Beal announced his candidacy and qualified Wednesday. The other three candidates for the at-large District 1 seat have already qualified – Bill Dudley, Joanne Lentino and Matt Stewart. Alex C. Powers had announced he would also run for the open seat but is listed as inactive on the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections website. In other Pinellas school races, incumbent Carol Cook qualified…

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At forum, Pinellas school board candidates agree on one thing: System needs fixing

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One thing was clear at Tuesday’s forum for Pinellas School Board candidates — the school system needs revamping. But how that is to take place isn’t so clear, although most agreed that communication and stakeholder participation are needed. “Parental participation is a must,” said Eliseo Santana, one of the candidates for District 5. “Our system is not geared to bringing our parents into the schools.” Eileen Long, who is running for the District 4 seat, said, “Survey our stakeholders, find what…

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With first day of qualifying, most Pinellas School Board races appear set

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It’s only the first day of qualifying but most candidates for the Pinellas County School Board have done so. Only two – Chris Hardman, running for District 4, and Carol Cook, running for re-election in District 5 – have not done so. Two other candidates – Alex Powers in the District 1 race and Anthony Maccaroni in the District 4 race – are listed as inactive. If no last-minute candidates appear the field for the nonpartisan School Board races are…

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