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School race marked by ins, outs


© St. Petersburg Times, published July 21, 2000

INVERNESS -- The District 1 School Board race is like a swimming pool on a summer day: Someone is always getting in or coming out.

The latest moves came Thursday, when Hernando resident Thomas Corkery withdrew from the contest while Lecanto resident Carol Synder entered the fray.

That leaves three candidates: Jane Fricano, Herm Sims and Snyder.

If anyone else plans on jumping into the water, he or she had best do so soon: The qualifying deadline ends at noon today. Candidates can withdraw from the race at any time.

School Board races now are non-partisan. As a result, the candidates' names will appear on the Sept. 5 ballot. All registered voters will be eligible to vote in the race.

If one candidate garners 50 percent of the vote plus one, he or she would win the seat. Otherwise, the two top vote-getters will square off in the November General Election.

This race, which wasn't supposed to even be on the ballot at all, has drawn as much candidate activity as any this election season.

Mark Stone, the incumbent, still had two years to serve. But he resigned to run for tax collector.

Thus, the District 1 seat came onto the ballot two years ahead of schedule.

Fricano entered quickly and remains in the race. Rich Hoffmann and Joseph Kinley entered the race and then withdrew.

Sims, a former school administrator, surprised observers Tuesday when he entered the race. Candidates usually don't wait so long before filing campaign paperwork.

Corkery on Thursday became the third candidate to withdraw. He told the Citrus Times that he couldn't dedicate the proper amount of time to the race.

Snyder did not return a reporter's telephone message Thursday evening.

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