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Nave, Bryant, Snyder victorious

By BARBARA BEHRENDT

© St. Petersburg Times, published September 6, 2000


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INVERNESS -- Citrus voters returned one incumbent, voted out another and elected the first all-female School Board in Tuesday's primary.

Board member Patience Nave defeated her opponent and won a second four-year term, while incumbent Carl Hansen was defeated by longtime teacher Virginia "Ginger" Bryant.

Retired educator Carol Snyder overwhelmed her opponent, Jane Fricano, to win two years on the board, finishing off the unexpired term of Mark Stone. He left the board to run for tax collector.

The School Board races were non-partisan for the first time. And since just two candidates ran for each of the three available seats, Tuesday's winners will get the $26,989 job.

The District 1 race pitted Snyder against Fricano, two Citrus County transplants who served on school boards in the Midwest.

Snyder, 64, is a relative newcomer, moving to the county a year ago.

But with 16 years' experience on a board in Ohio and a background that included teaching at every grade level from elementary to college, she pushed her background as the reason voters should elect her.

She won with more than 65 percent of the vote and afterward said: "I'm overwhelmed . . . I hope it was my experience and my willingness to work hard."

Fricano, 64, who had waged an unsuccessful campaign against Stone two years ago, said she was hurt by the absentee vote.

The District 2 race had Hansen running against Bryant, who picked up nearly 59 percent of the vote.

Bryant, 53, has spoken about the need to make more decisions based on what is good for children. She also campaigned on the need for better morale among teachers and other staff.

After the totals were announced, she said she wasn't sure why she won but she was very excited. "It says that people are ready for a change," she said.

Hansen, 61, ran on his record, touting the district's accomplishments. When he learned of his defeat, he said, "I knew it was a tough race. I would have liked to have won."

In District 4, incumbent Nave won nearly 53 percent of the vote over challenger Cynthia "Cindy" Cino.

Nave, 69, also ran on her record, explaining that she has taken the time to learn a lot about being a School Board member and that she is much more prepared to do the job now than when she was first elected.

"I took it very seriously," she said. "I worked hard and I had tremendous people working for me."

Cino, 43, is a registered nurse who said after the count, "We're going to be all right," referring to the new members elected to the board.

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