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Election 2004

Voters elect Murray, Powers to county's School Board

By BARBARA BEHRENDT
Published November 3, 2004


Precinct-by-precinct

THE PRESIDENCY
This time, key to presidency lies with Ohio

THE SENATE
Martinez lead at just under 1 percent

THE STATE
Five judges on way to easily keeping seats
Justices' jobs appear safe, judging by early returns
Voters call it a draw in doctor-lawyer battle
Senate lead at just under 1 percent
Cantero, Bell easily hang onto seats

TAMPA BAY
Coats easily beats former shock jock
Lines pose biggest problem for voters
Local roots, support boost Burke's victory
Pinellas Suncoast race close; fee hike fails
Voters approve higher tax to help Pinellas teachers, schools
Biggest voting gripe: long lines

PASCO
Pasco pulls off smooth election
Kurt Browning bests Bergy
Fiorentino secures job after tough quest
Incumbent Hildebrand sails to sixth term
Jack Mariano upsets Peter Altman

HERNANDO
Voters pack polls with vigor
Fagan leads decisively, vows to seek consensus
Nugent 'thrilled' as he heads to easy win
Precincts experience only minor problems
Pugh cruises in 1 race; recount likely in other
In Hernando: experience, Democrats

CITRUS
Fervor, dignity meet at polls
Spivey charges past Takac for seat on bench
2 incumbents win, another defeated by former chief

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INVERNESS - Voters elected two new members - both of them teachers - to the Citrus County School Board.

Lecanto High School teacher and coach Bill Murray will fill the District 4 seat that Patience Nave now holds. She chose not to seek re-election. He received about 55 percent of the vote, beating out Cynthia "Cindy" Cino, a registered nurse, in the nonpartisan race.

In District 5, Inverness Middle School guidance counselor Linda Powers took just more than 63 percent of the vote, defeating carpenter Bruce Bellamy. Powers will finish the unexpired term of Sandra "Sam" Himmel, who quit to run for superintendent. Himmel won that race.

Both School Board races raised an interesting question: What does the School Board need, more educators or more people from the outside who could provide a different perspective?

The flawed Homosassa Elementary School construction project provided the grist for much of the criticism of the district's operations. All four of the candidates said they would have taken a much more active role in getting to the bottom of the problems.

Murray, 63, touted his 40 years of experience as an educator, saying that would help him make good decisions.

Murray could not be reached for comment after the votes were tallied.

Cino, 48, said a parent's perspective was needed more than another educator's. She was unavailable to comment Tuesday night.

With experience in teaching, counseling, business and community service, Powers, 60, said she had a well-rounded background. Improving communication at all levels in the school system and community has been a focus of her campaign.

Arriving at the elections office just after the vote tallies were final, a beaming Powers was congratulated by well-wishers.

"I'm very pleased," she said. "I ran an issues-oriented race. The public heard the issues, and they responded."

Bellamy had touted his ability to relate to all people in the community, from parents to school bus drivers. The 51-year-old Citrus native also touted his years of coaching experience.

After he learned of his defeat, Bellamy said he did not regret running and that he would try politics again because he believes people did respond to his message.

"I ran a good race, and I'll be back," he said.

Murray will serve a full four-year term. Powers will serve two years to complete Himmel's term.

The School Board job pays $28,800.

[Last modified November 2, 2004, 21:57:12]


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