Voters across Southwest Florida have cast their votes for school board races, and the results are in.
In Lee County, there were four school board seats on the ballot. In Lee County’s School Board District 1, Sam Fisher will face off against Kathy Fanny in the general election in November. Fisher received 44% of the vote and Fanny 25%.
“School boards shouldn’t be political. I’m in this for the kids and the teachers. I have the endorsement of the teachers. I have 38 years in the classroom, and the simple fact is we need to make decisions based on the students,” said Fanny.
Fisher said of the results, “We are lucky to have Governor DeSantis, I am honored by his endorsement., but I’m honored also by the support of just regular citizens. The parents, the business owners, it means a lot to me.”
There will be another runoff in District 4 in November. Dan Severson, with 33% of the vote, with face off against Debbie Jordon, with 31% of the vote.
“I have worked very hard for the families and children of this community, and I will continue to do so,” said Jordon.
Severson said, “This last year, at the school board meetings, was a school board that was out of touch with the parents and continually marginalized the parents, and so you saw a big pushback, and this is part of that push back. We want to empower the students and the parents, and that is through what I believe to be a classical education.”
In District 5, the incumbent school board member Gwynetta Gittens lost to Armor Persons. Persons received 55% of the vote. Gittens received 45%. Persons was endorsed by Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno and a committee that supports Governor DeSantis.
“When I got onto the whole race when I felt the parents weren’t being listened to on the board. I can say I will be listening to all the parents on the board. I’ll be their voice,” said Persons.
Lee County’s School Board District 6 will be the third runoff for the school board in November. With 39% of the vote, Jada Langford Fleming will face off against Denise Nystrom, who received 36% of the vote.
Flemming commented on the results, saying, “I think that my hard work. The foot work. The groundwork that I did. Do you know outside meeting community members and feeling them out and hearing what their true concerns are has been a huge help. I really do care about the people in this community. The family the children and just being able to hear from them personally has been an enormous help.”
“Well I think I might sleep a little bit late tomorrow, and that’s about it, and then I’m going to get up and get going. I think we’re going to sit down and strategize with the campaign team and look at what we did well and what we could do better, and I think we’re going to get out and do more of the same and maybe change a few things up, but we’re going to hit the ground running,” said Nystrom.
Voters in Collier County had three school board seats on their ballots. All three races will be runoffs in November, with none of the candidates getting more than 50% of the vote.
In District 1, Jerry Rutherford, who received 45% of the vote, will face off against Jory Westberry, who received 35% of the vote.
Kelly Lichter will face off against Jen Mitchell in November. Lichter received 47% of the vote, and Mitchell received 38%.
“I mean, the kids aren’t learning what they should learn they don’t know basic math, they can’t figure out change they’re not doing their jobs.” “the incumbent is being dishonest to voters about her record once we expose her record and what she’s really about, I think the voters will see the truth and support my campaign,” said Lichter.
In District 5, Timothy Donald Mosher got 40% of the vote. He will face Roy Terry, who received 27%.
There was only one school board seat for voters to vote on Charlotte County. In Charlotte County School Board District 4, John LeClair won with 57% of the vote.
“Part of what I ran on is our teachers do a fantastic job. I love our community. I’ve been a part of it for over 40 years. And our teachers are dedicated, and they love what they do. And I think we need to make sure that they’re compensated appropriately, but also make sure they have the health insurance that they need. That’s pretty competitive compared to other counties. So that’s something that I would like to look at,” said LeClair following his win.
Voters in DeSoto County picked three new school board members. In District 1, Jami Schueneman won with 63% of the vote. In District 2, Sharon Goodwin received 53%. Kelly Mercer won District 5 with 59% of the vote.
There were also three school board races in Hendry County. Two of those races had outright winners. One of them will go to a runoff in November.
In District 3, Amanda Nelson won with 64% of the vote, and in District 5, Jon Basquin won with 64% of the vote.
Hendry County School Board District 4 will be a runoff between Stephanie Busin, who got 49% of the vote, and Joe Whitehead, who got 46%.
There was only one school board race in Glades County. School Board District 4 was won by Kimberly Lynn Clement with 57% of the vote.
You can find a complete list of races by clicking here.