Tampa businessman Steve Cona announced Tuesday that is running for District 1 seat on the Hillsborough County School Board.
“Our public schools should be our biggest economic development engine; a place that cultivates and elevates the uniqueness of every student. As a school board member, I will work to ensure our students are prepared to be career and college ready. As a father, I want to ensure we are utilizing all of our current resources to provide the best learning environments for our students,” Cona said in a news release.
“My expertise and experience will provide a fresh set of eyes and solutions to build the best school district in the country because that is what our Hillsborough County students deserve.”
Cona is a Hillsborough County native and the current president/CEO of the Associated Builders and Contractors Florida Gulf Coast Chapter, a position he has held for five years. He and his wife, Audra, have two children enrolled in Hillsborough public schools. Though School Board races are nonpartisan, Cona is a Republican who once ran for Hillsborough County Commission.
He is the first candidate to declare for the race to replace current School Board member Susan Valdes, whose resignation from the seat is of questionable legitimacy. She is now running in the Democratic primary for House District 62.
The special election for the District 1 School Board seat will be on the 2018 ballot alongside the regularly scheduled elections for District 2, District 4 and District 6.
District 1 covers northwestern Hillsborough, including part of Tampa and the communities of Egypt Lake, Keystone, Leto, Town ‘n’ Country and Westchase. The winner of the nonpartisan election will serve out the remainder of Valdes’ term, which runs through 2020.