Miami-Dade County School Board contest in District 9 now a three-way race

Schoolchild raising hand to answer
On Monday, Luisa Santos joined Nancy Lawther and Gloria Angel Williams in the race.

The race for the District 9 seat on the Miami-Dade County School Board is now a three-person contest after Lulu’s Ice Cream founder Luisa Santos announced her candidacy Monday.

Santos joins Nancy Lawther and Gloria Angel Williams in the race for the District 9 seat, which serves the southeastern portion of the county. Lawrence Feldman currently represents the district, but he announced in July he would not be seeking reelection. He has endorsed Lawther as his preferred replacement.

Santos announced her candidate Monday with a campaign launch video, along with a statement.

“Education made all the difference for me. I want to channel my entrepreneurial and life experiences to ensure every student has access to the same high quality education and opportunities that I had,” Santos said.

“I am extremely humbled and excited for the chance to give back to the public school system that nurtured me. This campaign is about building a coalition and amplifying the voices of educators, parents, students, and public school advocates who share my passion for and commitment to our schools. I know together we will lift up a new generation of leadership for Miami-Dade County, and help all students realize their full potential.”

Santos was born in Colombia and came to the U.S. when she was eight years old. She attended public school in the county before earning her degree from Georgetown University.

The announcement from Santos comes just days after Lawther, a former President of the Miami-Dade County Council PTA/PTSA, kicked off her campaign for the seat.

Lawther held the event Thursday at the home of Pinecrest Vice Mayor Anna Hochkammer, who briefly launched a run for state Senate before withdrawing due to health concerns.

“As a parent, career educator, former County PTA President, and experienced education advocate I know access to quality education is a cornerstone of our democracy, and that every student, regardless of ZIP code, should have an opportunity to succeed,” Lawther said in a statement on the kickoff event.

“My campaign is built on my values of ensuring our schools, students, and teachers are the priority by fully funding public education, keeping our schools safe, respecting our teachers, and strengthening ties between neighborhood schools and their surrounding communities.”

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to [email protected].


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