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One School Board run-off race will be decided on Nov. 8 because none of the three candidates received a majority vote. The race was one of four seats on the nonpartisan Polk County School Board that were contested in the Aug. 23 primary election. Each seat represents a separate geographic area, but School Board members are elected countywide.
In the primary, challenger Rick Nolte unseated first-term incumbent Sarah Fortney after he received the endorsement of Gov. Ron DeSantis; Kay Fields was elected to her fifth term over challenger Terry Clark; and Justin Sharpless defeated Sara Jones for an open seat.
School Board members set policy for a massive school district that encompasses 110,000 students and 13,000 employees.
- Lakeland, age 57
- Campaign finance
- Campaign slogan: School is in Session
- Endorsements: Republican Party of Polk County, Winter Haven 9-12 Project, The 1776 Project PAC
- Texts falsely claim School Board member is under criminal inquiry – The Ledger, July 1
- Lisa Miller faces two challengers in her bid for a second term – The Ledger, Aug. 3
- School Board District 7: Miller, Quary and Sessions – LkldNow, Aug. 9
- Nolte unseats Fortney; Fields returns; Sharpless wins; Miller faces sessions in runoff, LkldNow, Aug. 23
- Sessions is backed by dark money from a national conservative group – LkldNow, Oct. 10
- Incumbent Miller faces challenger Sessions in runoff – The Ledger, Oct. 21
- Outside PAC donates to Polk School Board candidate – The Ledger, Nov. 3
News and video links – multiple seats
- School Board races are supposed to be nonpartisan, but both parties are endorsing – The Ledger, July 1
- Video: County Citizens Defending Freedom candidate forum, July 16
- Two companies run by School Board campaign manager found in breach of contract – The Ledger, July 27 (subscribers only)
- Video: School Board candidates air views at Kiwanis forum – LkldNow, Aug. 5
- School Board candidates highlight experience vs. change – LkldNow, Aug. 12
- Stranger things surround this year’s Polk School Board races – LkldNow, Aug. 15
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