Bob Gualtieri backs Moms for Liberty-targeted Laura Hine for re-election to Pinellas County School Board
Image via Laura Hine campaign

Hine Gualtieri
Gualitieri’s backing could help maintain support among more conservative voters even as Hine faces a coordinated attempt to unseat her.

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri is endorsing Pinellas County School Board member Laura Hine for re-election to her countywide District 1 seat.

The endorsement from a popular Republican law enforcement leader is a big deal in the race. Hine, currently the board Chair, was first elected in 2020. Though School Board races are nonpartisan and Hine is an independent, she was largely backed by left-leaning individuals and groups, and will likely maintain that support as efforts continue statewide among the conservative Moms for Liberty to stack School Boards with conservatives.

Hine is one of several School Board members across the state and region to be targeted by Gov. Ron DeSantis who, in the 2022 Midterm cycle, inserted himself heavily into School Board races that had historically received little attention from candidates further up the ballot.

Gualitieri’s backing could help maintain support among more conservative voters even as Hine faces a coordinated attempt to unseat her.

“I’m confident that re-electing Laura is the right choice for Pinellas County. Her proven track record, especially in the realm of public safety, makes her an exemplary advocate for our students and their families,” Gualtieri said.

Hine will face at least one challenger. Danielle Marlof filed to run in October and has, as of the end of December, raised nearly $7,000.

Marlof is the founder of a local Christian School, Wellmont Academy. It’s a nonprofit that serves as a “model Christian school in Pinellas County,” according to Marlof’s LinkedIn bio. It also says the school’s mission is “to be a Christ-centered, soul-safe community, encouraging balanced academic excellence through God-written identity.”

She has backing from some prominent conservatives, such as U.S. Rep. Anna Paulina Luna and state Rep. Berny Jacques, and her platform includes Moms for Liberty-aligned priorities including “protecting parental rights” and “academics over ideology.”

Hine, a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy with a degree in aerospace engineering, has focused her tenure thus far on student experience and achievement, including the creation of a new three-year strategic plan. She also worked with colleagues to hire a new Superintendent and deliver the highest salary increase to teachers in the last decade.

Hine said she is focused on literacy, early education, middle school potential, robust workforce pathways, and harnessing technology while minimizing and mitigating its potential negative impacts on youth and society.

“It has been an honor to work alongside Sheriff Gualtieri on a number of programs aimed at keeping children safe and our families engaged in our schools. I am humbled by his support and his collaborative approach to public service,” Hine said of Gualtieri’s backing.

She also has nods from Pinellas County Commissioner Rene Flowers, a former colleague on the School Board and a local public school parent, Marianne Hillyer, who praised Hine for her work with “teachers, parents and leaders” to “further the potential of all our students and their families.”

The Primary is scheduled for Aug. 20.

Janelle Irwin Taylor

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 [email protected].


  • KathrynA

    April 9, 2024 at 3:12 pm

    I expected better from Sheriff Gualtieri.

    • Rick Whitaker

      April 9, 2024 at 3:35 pm

      kathryn, he’s a gop isn’t he? what do you expect from a gop person?

  • ScienceBLVR

    April 9, 2024 at 7:27 pm

    First time I’ve been proud of my sheriff..tip o the hat to Michelle O…

  • Phil Morton

    April 9, 2024 at 10:28 pm

    Moms for Three Ways days are numbered. We’re paying attention this year.

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704