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 “Ladies Night.�

That’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.

Here’s moderator Mary Berglund of the League of Women Voters…

[roll tape]

[Actuality 1- Harmony- “What do you think is… vote for me�]

Bostock declared her candidacy 18 months ago, and just can’t understand why Russell, who was not up for re-election, decided to challenge her…

[roll tape]

[Actuality 2- Bostock 1- “… four years ago…and to win the seat…�]

Russell says she’s only trying to make the Board more effective and productive…

[roll tape]

[Actuality 3- Russell 1- “… we just had members of the school board… to elect a Board that could work together…�]

Bostock says there ARE issues that separate the two women. One of those issues is Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Clayton Wilcox…

[roll tape]

[Actuality 4- Bostock 2- “… one of the most important things… and that’s a very key vote that she and I have differed on…�]

But Russell says it isn’t just about Wilcox…

[roll tape]

[Actuality 5- Russell 2- “… I wanted to have a school board campaign about issues… based upon her personal ideas and preferences…�]

Another line in the sand—at least for Bostock –is the FCAT…

[roll tape]

[Actuality 6- Bostock 3- “… we have to have very clearly defined standards… in fact, kept her kids from taking that test…�]

But for Russell it’s about tolerance, and not acting without authority…

[roll tape]

[Actuality 7- Russell 3- “… my opponent, as the chairman of the Board…consensus…�]

Another woman to light up the Casino was the lone Democrat opposing 18-term incumbent, Congressman Bill Young in the 10th Congressional District…

[roll tape]
[Actuality 8- Samm 1- “… it was 2006, in January… every person counts…�]

Simpson sets herself apart from Young primarily on his solid support of President Bush and his wars in Iraq and Afghanistan…

[roll tape]

[Actuality 8 Samm- … 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, I’m Stan Davis

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