GULFPORT CANDIDATESâ€™ FORUM, Stan Davis08/29/06
GULFPORT CANDIDATESâ€™ FORUM MONDAY, 28 AUGUST 2006
40 or so candidates gathered in Gulfport Monday evening to give the voters one more look-see. The most sparks were generated by the contest for Pinellas Board of Education.
Stan Davis was there and filed this report.
[Total Running Time-6:49]
Some 150 people turned out Monday night to hear 40 or so politicals running for a myriad of seats in Pinellas County.
Although there were lots of men in the audience and amongst the contenders, it still seemed very much like â€œLadies Night.â€?
Thatâ€™s because the night was set afire by a group of passionate women, each championing causes and issues that resonated throughout the gathering at the historic Gulfport Casino & Ballroom.
Sparks flew between two incumbents battling each for an At-Large seat in District 2 of the Pinellas County Board of Education, Mary Russell and two-time Board Chair, Nancy Bostock.
Hereâ€™s moderator Mary Berglund of the League of Women Votersâ€¦
[Actuality 1- Harmony- â€œWhat do you think isâ€¦ vote for meâ€?]
Bostock declared her candidacy 18 months ago, and just canâ€™t understand why Russell, who was not up for re-election, decided to challenge herâ€¦
[Actuality 2- Bostock 1- â€œâ€¦ four years agoâ€¦and to win the seatâ€¦â€?]
Russell says sheâ€™s only trying to make the Board more effective and productiveâ€¦
[Actuality 3- Russell 1- â€œâ€¦ we just had members of the school boardâ€¦ to elect a Board that could work togetherâ€¦â€?]
Bostock says there ARE issues that separate the two women. One of those issues is Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Clayton Wilcoxâ€¦
[Actuality 4- Bostock 2- â€œâ€¦ one of the most important thingsâ€¦ and thatâ€™s a very key vote that she and I have differed onâ€¦â€?]
But Russell says it isnâ€™t just about Wilcoxâ€¦
[Actuality 5- Russell 2- â€œâ€¦ I wanted to have a school board campaign about issuesâ€¦ based upon her personal ideas and preferencesâ€¦â€?]
Another line in the sandâ€”at least for Bostock â€“is the FCATâ€¦
[Actuality 6- Bostock 3- â€œâ€¦ we have to have very clearly defined standardsâ€¦ in fact, kept her kids from taking that testâ€¦â€?]
But for Russell itâ€™s about tolerance, and not acting without authorityâ€¦
[Actuality 7- Russell 3- â€œâ€¦ my opponent, as the chairman of the Boardâ€¦consensusâ€¦â€?]
Another woman to light up the Casino was the lone Democrat opposing 18-term incumbent, Congressman Bill Young in the 10th Congressional Districtâ€¦
[Actuality 8- Samm 1- â€œâ€¦ it was 2006, in Januaryâ€¦ every person countsâ€¦â€?]
Simpson sets herself apart from Young primarily on his solid support of President Bush and his wars in Iraq and Afghanistanâ€¦
[Actuality 8 Samm- â€¦ the defining issue]
The evening was brought to the voters by a coalition of organizations, including the League of Women Voters and Gulfport Progressives. For more information, visit www dot pinellas progressives dot org.
For WMNF, Iâ€™m Stan Davis