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Pinellas School Board candidates enter the Tiger’s Den Wednesday

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The nine candidates for the three open seats on the Pinellas County School Board will be the featured speakers at Wednesday’s luncheon meeting of the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club. The nine are the latest in a line of candidates appearing before members of the non-partisan, political club in the run-up to the Aug. 30 election. That election is known more like a primary election, but non-partisan races for school board and judgeships are also on the ballot as is one…

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Pinellas County School Board passes tentative tax rate for upcoming fiscal year

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Pinellas County School Board members unanimously approved a tentative tax rate Tuesday that is a slight decrease from the current rate. The proposed rate is about $7.32 per thousand dollars of assessed, taxable property value. That’s about 5.8 percent less than the current overall rate of about $7.77 for school property taxes. The reduced rate means a homeowner with a home assessed at $150,000 with a $25,000 homestead exemption would pay about $915 in property taxes for Pinellas schools next…

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Retiring teacher and incumbent face off in Pinellas School Board candidate forum

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For the most part, the candidates’ forum in Palm Harbor on Monday night was a quiet affair – except when it came to the race for the District 4 seat on the Pinellas County School Board. That’s the race where incumbent Ken Peluso, a retired chiropractor, is facing Eileen Long, a retiring teacher. The crux of the dispute was Long’s contention that a teacher is best suited to the job. The subtext was that Peluso does not understand the problems…

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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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Matt Stewart picks up broad base of endorsements for Pinellas School Board bid

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Matt Stewart announced Wednesday that he’s picked up the endorsement from a broad base of Pinellas power brokers who support his run for the District 1 at-large seat on the Pinellas County School Board. Those endorsements: Pinellas County Commission chairman Charlie Justice, Pinellas County Clerk of Court Ken Burke, Pinellas County Tax Collector Diane Nelson, Tarpon Springs City Commissioners Rea Sieber and Susan Slattery, Largo City Commissioner Michael Smith, and St. Petersburg City Council member Lisa Wheeler-Brown. The support comes…

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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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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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