Pinellas School Board candidate Caprice Edmond rounded up a batch of endorsements from local Black elected officials as she runs to keep African American representation on the board.
Edmond, a teacher and child advocate, faces former St. Petersburg City Council member Karl Nurse in the District 7 race to replace Rene Flowers, who is not seeking reelection to run for Pinellas County Commission.
Flowers is the board’s only Black member. The seat has been the only minority representation since 2002, the first time the board was not all White.
If Nurse wins, there won’t be a single person of color representing the School District.
Edmond’s endorsers include Sen. Darryl Rouson, Pinellas County Commissioner Ken Welch and St. Pete City Council members Lisa Wheeler-Bowman and Deborah Figgs-Sanders. Flowers also previously endorsed Edmond.
Edmond’s race is not just about racial representation.
“Caprice Edmond is dedicated and passionate about the children of Pinellas County Public Schools from her years of experience. She is exceptionally qualified to lead on their behalf on the School Board,” Rouson said. “I have fought all of my career for competent diversity in all settings and I stand with Caprice Edmond.”
Edmond has served children and families for more than 18 years in various roles, including as a teacher, guardian ad litem and social worker. She has an undergraduate degree in psychology and a master’s degree in elementary education with an English for Speakers of Other Languages endorsement.
“Caprice Edmond is the most qualified candidate to represent the citizens of School Board District 7 and the best prepared to serve all of the students of Pinellas County,” Welch said.
Ideologically, not much separates Edmond and Nurse. Both are progressive Democrats, though the race is non-partisan.
Nurse’s top campaign priority is on vocational training to ensure students who may not be college-bound have opportunities for success in the workforce.
Edmond is focusing on a variety of issues in her campaign including early education, social and emotional development, culturally relevant teaching, reading proficiency, equity in education and life skills training.
“Caprice’s professionalism, enthusiasm, and tireless participation in the community and our schools has consistently provided the skills and experience needed as a Pinellas County School Board member,” Figgs-Sanders said.
Added Wheeler-Bowman: “I’m careful about the people I trust with my grandchildren. I trust Caprice will do what’s best for my grandkids, your children, and our community.”
The latest round of endorsements adds to an already long list including St. Pete City Council members Brandi Gabbard and Amy Foster, former St. Pete City Council member Steve Kornell and former Rep. Frank Peterman Jr., who unsuccessfully ran for Pinellas County Commission this year.
“I am grateful to have the support of elected officials who have championed issues improving the community,” Edmond said. “They will play an important role as we move forward with ensuring our schools provide high quality education for all students.”