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DeSantis' support influences non-partisan school board races in Tampa Bay and Florida

Man in suit standing at podium talking about education as a group of women, men and a child stand next to him
Wilfredo Lee/AP
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, left at podium, speaks before signing a child welfare bill at Miami Dade College in Miami. The bill increased benefits for foster care parents, guardians and children. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

The governor endorsed three school board candidates in Sarasota County and they all won.

Florida School Board races are non-partisan. But Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis had a big impact on several races in the greater Tampa Bay region.

DeSantis endorsed three school board candidates in Sarasota County. He hosted a rally for them and his political action committee contributed to their campaigns.

Each of his picks won election.

Incumbent Bridget Ziegler, who had a hand in the controversial Parent’s Bill of Rights law signed by the governor bested Dawnyelle Singleton, a first time candidate with Democratic support. She and Ziegler have been neck and neck in campaign contributions, each raising about $140,000 in contributions.

Robyn Marinelli, a retired Sarasota educator, beat Lauren Kurnov, who was endorsed by the local teachers union and the Democratic Party of Sarasota and had raised the most money of anyone on the ballot with almost $250,000.

Tim Enos, a one time head of the Sarasota County School district's new police agency beat teacher Nora Cietek in the open District 5 seat to replace the retiring Board Chair Jane Goodwin.

DeSantis endorsed about 30 school board candidates statewide saying his picks will support his conservative education agenda, which has included legislation limiting how race, gender and sexual orientation can be discussed in schools.

Voter turnout for Tueday's primary in Sarasota County was 36.18%. School Board members are elected to four-year terms.

Hillsborough| Pinellas| Polk| Pasco| Hernando| Sarasota| Manatee

MORE: Statewide results from the Florida Division of Elections

Here are the results of school board races across the greater Tampa Bay region:

Sarasota County

District 1: 99 of 99 precincts reporting
Dawnyelle Singleton— 43.40%
Bridget Ziegler— 56.60%

District 4: 99 of 99 precincts reporting
Lauren Kurnov— 46.95%
Robyn A. Marinelli —53.05%

District 5: 99 of 99 precincts reporting
Nora Cietek— 47.00%
Timothy Enos— 53.00%

Hillsborough County

District 2: 448/448 precincts reporting
Stacy Hahn — 63.76%
Damaris Allen — 36.24%

District 4: 54 of 94 precincts reporting
Hunter Gambrell — 28.43%
Patricia Rendon — 53.13%
Danielle Smalley — 18.44%

District 6: 248 of 448 precincts reporting
Roshawn Gendrett — 11.71%
Alysha Legge — 37.59%
Karen Perez — 50.71%

Pinellas County

District 2: 286 of 286 precincts reporting
Lisa Cane— 55.80%
Brad S. DeCorte— 329.47%
Bronson Oudshoff— 14.73%

District 3: 286 of 286 precincts reporting
Keesha Benson— 39.73%
Dawn Peters— 38.24%
Carl "Z" Zimmerman— 22.03%

District 6: 286 of 286 precincts reporting
Brian M. Martin— 39.06%
Stephanie Meyer— 47.49%
Kimberly Works— 13.44%

District 7: 286 of 286 precincts reporting
Maria De Fiore Solanki— 35.21%
Caprice Edmond— 64.79%

Polk County

District 3: 169 of 172 precincts reporting
Sarah Fortney— 49.03%
Rick Nolte— 50.97%

District 5: 169 of 172 precincts reporting
Kay Fields— 48.61%
Terry Clark— 51.39%

District 6: 169 of 172 precincts reporting
Sara Jones— 48.61%
Justin Sharpless— 37.45%

District 7:
Lisa Bone Miller— 43.42%
Dell Quary— 20.37%
Jill Sessions— 36.21%

Manatee County:

District 2: 71of 71 reporting
Susan Agruso— 25.56%
Harold E. Byrd Jr.— 35.55%
Cindy Spray— 38.89%

District 4: 71of 71 reporting
Wesley Choate III— 55.30%
Sean L. Conley— 44.70%

District 5: 71of 71 reporting
James T. Golden —33.04%
Richard Tatem— 50.50%
Chantel Wilford— 16.46%

Pasco County

District 1: 120 of 120 reporting
Al Hernandez—44.85%
Stephen A. Meisman—23.62%
James M. Washington— 31.53%

District 3: 120 of 120 reporting
Cynthia Armstrong— 58.89%
Matt Geiger— 41.11%

District 5: 120 of 120 reporting
Megan Harding— 71.30%
Charles P. Toushell— 28.70%

Hernando County:

District 1: 32 of 32 reporting
Kay Hatch— 34.91%
Mark Johnson— 36.83%
Jennifer Lynn Licata— 28.25%

District 3: 32 of 32 reporting
Jimmy Lodato— 39.36%
Shannon L. Rodriguez—60.64%

District 5: 32 of 32 reporting
Lara Dedmon— 14.71%
Susan D. Duval— 36.19%
Pam Everett—20.46%
Monty Floyd—28.64%

As a reporter, my goal is to tell a story that moves you in some way. To me, the best way to do that begins with listening. Talking to people about their lives and the issues they care about is my favorite part of the job.