Danny Espino, Steve Gallon automatically elected to Miami-Dade School Board
Image via Miami-Dade School Board.

Steve Gallon Danny Espino
Gallon has served on the School Board since 2016. Espino joined the panel in 2022 by Governor’s appointment.

It’s a short election cycle for incumbent Miami-Dade School Board members Danny Espino and Steve Gallon III. Both are keeping their seats after no one qualified to challenge them.

Gallon, a longtime local educator-turned-administrator, is bound for a third consecutive four-year term on the nine-seat panel. He represents District 1, which encompasses 47 schools in a center-north section of the county.

Miami-Dade records show Gallon reported raising about $162,500 to defend his job. He also spent more than $63,000 of that sum through May 31, mostly on consulting, financial management, community outreach, web fees and compliance.

Espino, meanwhile, raised $233,000 through his campaign account and political committee, Voicing Parental Rights. His spending — about $19,500 — covered consulting, web and communications costs, plus about $3,500 to cover a campaign kickoff event in January at the Trump National Doral.

Espino represents District 5, which spans a northwestern portion of the county encompassing some 50 schools. Without opposition, Espino won the right to keep the job to which Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed him in November 2022.

Before his appointment, Espino donated $250 to DeSantis’ re-election campaign and $500 to Next Generation Leaders PAC, the political committee of then-School Board member Christi Fraga. Espino replaced Fraga after she resigned to run successfully for Doral Mayor.

Gallon and Espino both boast other community involvements. Among other things, Gallon serves on the Board of the Miami Children’s Initiative. Espino is on the Board of the South Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Three other School Board races will until at least the Aug. 20 Primary Election:

In District 3, which covers coastal communities in northeast Miami-Dade, former Democratic Rep. Joe Geller, Talmudic College of Florida Dean Martin Karp, North Bay Village Mayor Brent Latham, special education teacher Gustavo Ortega and teacher Hayley Ross are competing for the seat Lucia Báez-Geller (no relation to Joe Geller) is vacating for a congressional run.

In District 7, School Board member Maria Blanco is running to continue representing students, parents, teachers and schools in southwest Miami-Dade. DeSantis appointed her to the seat in 2023 after the resignation of then-School Board member Lubby Navarro, who has since been charged with fraud and grand theft for allegedly stealing money from her district.

Standing in Blanco’s way are Javier “Javi” Perez, a former principal of South Dade Senior High who lost both his legs when a drunk driver ran him over in 2016, and Maxine “Max” Tuchman, a public school teacher-turned-tech executive.

There’s also a two-person contest in District 9, which spans southeast Miami-Dade, between incumbent School Board member Luisa Santos and Kimberly Beltran, a legal claims processing supervisor whose campaign website says she brings “a unique blend of her Latin heritage, Catholic faith, and passion for excellence in education.”

Jesse Scheckner

Jesse Scheckner has covered South Florida with a focus on Miami-Dade County since 2012. His work has been recognized by the Hearst Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Society of News Editors, Florida MMA Awards and Miami New Times. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner.


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