|Districts brace for heated school board election season|
Nine candidates qualified Friday to run for the four of nine seats on the Miami-Dade County School Board ballot this year, including three held by longtime incumbents; Dorothy Bendross-Mindingal, Maria Teresa Rojas, Marta Pérez. The fourth seat is open, due to the longtime chair, Perla Tabares Hantman, announcing earlier this year that she wouldn’t seek reelection. Fourteen candidates are vying for four seats on the Palm Beach County School Board, which sets policies and oversees billions of dollars for the 10th largest school district in the United States. The Alachua County School District has four of its five seats up for grabs, pinning known Democrats against Republicans, despite the seats being nonpartisan. With just two candidates set in each race, the primary election on August 23 will decide the makeup of the new board. Two Marion County School Board incumbents have decided to leave, while a third will be unopposed and automatically get a second term. During a news conference in March, Gov. Ron DeSantis predicted a "huge amount of voter interest" this year and called school board races "some of the most important elections we're able to vote on."