GULFPORT CANDIDATESÃ¢â¬â¢ FORUM, Stan Davis
GULFPORT CANDIDATESÃ¢â¬â¢ 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.
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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 Ã¢â¬ÅLadies Night.Ã¢â¬?
ThatÃ¢â¬â¢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.
HereÃ¢â¬â¢s moderator Mary Berglund of the League of Women VotersÃ¢â¬Â¦
[Actuality 1- Harmony- Ã¢â¬ÅWhat do you think isÃ¢â¬Â¦ vote for meÃ¢â¬?]
Bostock declared her candidacy 18 months ago, and just canÃ¢â¬â¢t understand why Russell, who was not up for re-election, decided to challenge herÃ¢â¬Â¦
[Actuality 2- Bostock 1- Ã¢â¬ÅÃ¢â¬Â¦ four years agoÃ¢â¬Â¦and to win the seatÃ¢â¬Â¦Ã¢â¬?]
Russell says sheÃ¢â¬â¢s only trying to make the Board more effective and productiveÃ¢â¬Â¦
[Actuality 3- Russell 1- Ã¢â¬ÅÃ¢â¬Â¦ we just had members of the school boardÃ¢â¬Â¦ to elect a Board that could work togetherÃ¢â¬Â¦Ã¢â¬?]
Bostock says there ARE issues that separate the two women. One of those issues is Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Clayton WilcoxÃ¢â¬Â¦
[Actuality 4- Bostock 2- Ã¢â¬ÅÃ¢â¬Â¦ one of the most important thingsÃ¢â¬Â¦ and thatÃ¢â¬â¢s a very key vote that she and I have differed onÃ¢â¬Â¦Ã¢â¬?]
But Russell says it isnÃ¢â¬â¢t just about WilcoxÃ¢â¬Â¦
[Actuality 5- Russell 2- Ã¢â¬ÅÃ¢â¬Â¦ I wanted to have a school board campaign about issuesÃ¢â¬Â¦ based upon her personal ideas and preferencesÃ¢â¬Â¦Ã¢â¬?]
Another line in the sandÃ¢â¬âat least for Bostock Ã¢â¬âis the FCATÃ¢â¬Â¦
[Actuality 6- Bostock 3- Ã¢â¬ÅÃ¢â¬Â¦ we have to have very clearly defined standardsÃ¢â¬Â¦ in fact, kept her kids from taking that testÃ¢â¬Â¦Ã¢â¬?]
But for Russell itÃ¢â¬â¢s about tolerance, and not acting without authorityÃ¢â¬Â¦
[Actuality 7- Russell 3- Ã¢â¬ÅÃ¢â¬Â¦ my opponent, as the chairman of the BoardÃ¢â¬Â¦consensusÃ¢â¬Â¦Ã¢â¬?]
Another woman to light up the Casino was the lone Democrat opposing 18-term incumbent, Congressman Bill Young in the 10th Congressional DistrictÃ¢â¬Â¦
[Actuality 8- Samm 1- Ã¢â¬ÅÃ¢â¬Â¦ it was 2006, in JanuaryÃ¢â¬Â¦ every person countsÃ¢â¬Â¦Ã¢â¬?]
Simpson sets herself apart from Young primarily on his solid support of President Bush and his wars in Iraq and AfghanistanÃ¢â¬Â¦
[Actuality 8 Samm- Ã¢â¬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, IÃ¢â¬â¢m Stan Davis