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Rick Kriseman, Ed Montanari endorse Laura Hine for Pinellas County School Board

It’s a bipartisan nod in a nonpartisan race.

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman and City Council member Ed Montanari are offering a bi-partisan nod for Laura Hine for Pinellas County School Board.

Hine is running for the countywide District 1 seat currently held by Joanne Lentino who is not seeking reelection. She faces Stephanie Meyer and Tom Topping in the August 18 primary.

“Laura, Hank, and their family are leaders in our St. Petersburg community. As a mom and dedicated volunteer, Laura Hine has been making a positive impact on our public school system for years,” Kriseman, a Democrat, said.

“It is my pleasure to support her in this new endeavor because I know the passion we’ve already seen from her is just the beginning. Her experience in the U.S. Navy, construction management, and as a civic leader make her the most qualified candidate. Laura will be ready to serve on the Pinellas County School Board on day one and it is my pleasure to endorse her for School Board District 1.”

Hine is a local businesswoman and public education advocate. She’s married to Dali Museum Executive Director Hank Hine.

Hine is a Tampa native who earned her undergraduate degree in aerospace engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy and an MBA from the University of South Florida.

She said she first became interested in education after her first child was born in 2011 and she realized the difficulties choosing schools in a county where, much like others throughout the nation, the zoned school might not be the best choice.

Hine was the founding president of Friends of North Shore Elementary I 2015, a group established to ensure all children have access to quality education with an emphasis on teacher support.

“I have come to know Laura personally through her committed work at North Shore Elementary, which resides within my home district. Her mission to create thriving schools, teachers and students is admirable and has become a model other school communities are adopting in St. Petersburg,” said Montanari, a Republican.

“As a fellow former military officer, I know the values imbued in Laura through her Naval service hold her principles to the highest standard and she will hold a public position with the highest integrity. I am thankful for Laura’s pursuit into public service and hope you will join me in supporting her for the Pinellas County School Board.”

Hine also served on the Healthy School Start Time task force.

Professionally, Hine most recently served as the project director for the Tom and Mary James’ Western & Wildlife Art Museum and its adjacent commercial development.

She now serves as the executive director of the museum.

Hine was one of the first two women integrating a U.S. warship, and at 23-years-old qualified as Officer of the Deck of a $1B warship.

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at

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