Category Archives: Campaigning

Early Voting is underway

Early voting opens today at 4 locations:

Bradenton Conv Ctr – 1 Haben Blvd Palmetto 34221
LWR Town Hall – 8175 LWR Blvd 34202
Rocky Bluff Library – 6750 US Hwy 301 Ellenton 34222
Supervisor of Elections – 600 301 Blvd W Bradenton 34205
     early voting MAP



Candidate response to the BH

While disappointed that I didn’t receive the endorsement of the Herald, I appreciate the opportunity to address Manatee County voters.

As an educator, I’ve taught diverse populations and through this experience I have gained insight into “best practices”.  My skills and creativity translate into innovative ideas for continuing the improvements we’ve seen over the last 18 months.

I have run a grassroots, independent campaign that is funded and supported by family, friends and colleagues.  My campaign carries on Barbara Harvey’s legacy of independence and advocacy for our most precious resource, our youth.

My opponent has a long and admirable record of community service and serving youth that deserves respect.  However, his belief that “teaching is not community service” is troubling for someone that wants your vote for School Board.  Teaching is intertwined with the idea of community.

I ask you, as the educator and coach that I am, to complete a short homework task before you vote.  Please view the Bradenton Herald/METV forum and briefly review our websites to compare our platforms.  My site is and my opponent’s is:

Ask yourself: Which candidate talks about specific ideas, big and small, for the future of our schools?   Which candidate acknowledges the contributions of others?  Which candidate has 10 years of experience as an educator with a personal understanding of the needs of students, parents, teachers and support staff?  In the interest of transparency, I have posted every questionnaire, opinion and idea during this campaign.  Voters should know where I stand, even if they disagree with me, to make an informed choice.

Voters, please complete your homework assignment and go to the polls making an informed choice, for whomever you decide is the best candidate to serve the 45,000 students and 5,500 employees of the Manatee County School District.   Thank you.


METV/Herald Tribune Forum

90 minutes of 7 school board candidates sharing their opinions and ideas.


METV/Bradenton Herald Forum

Questions and time stamps of my responses are below the video. Thanks for taking the time to watch our candidate forum.

Opening statements: 3:48 – 5:14

“What skills and experience would you bring to the school board and education leadership?” 5:24 – 7:30

“Concerns over spending priorities and practices in the district have been mounting for years. As such, public trust taken a beating for a long time with budget deficits and wrongful spending. How can you as a board member continue the task of rebuilding public trust that has begun under the new administration?” 12:04 – 14:02

“The budget for the next year looks bright, brighter than in years past, with the draft plan reaching the state-required reserve minimum. What are your thoughts on this budget and future district spending? 14:14 – 15:49

“What are your views of the academic progress in test scores and school grades and what do you propose to improve education? 20:22 – 21:48

“What are you thoughts on Common Core and the implementation of that program in Manatee County schools?” 22:04 – 23:20

“Is Supt. Rick Mills and his administrative team leading the district in the right direction? And what would you do different, if anything?” 27:41 – 29:48

“What concerns do you hold about the current direction of the school board and direction should it take under your stewardship?” 30:00 – 31:12

rebuttal to response – 33:22 – 34:33

“What specifically would you do to boost teacher morale?” 34:50 – 35:57

closing statements 37:28 – 38:55

rebuttal to Mr. Jones closing remarks 41:00 – 42:19

Response to Pro-Life Voters

Jim and group,

I hope you don’t mind, but instead of replying individually I thought I would address the group so we’re all on the same page.   First, I appreciate your passion for your issue and upon reading your emails, I think you are correct.  My position on these issues is relevant as I will have a say over the education choices of our young people.  Health and reproductive education could potentially be one of those issues.

Also, Mr. Jacquith raises a good point – something I have prided myself on in this campaign – and that is “transparency”.   During this campaign, whenever I have received a questionnaire from a group, I have submitted those responses and then posted my answers on my website – – for voters to read on their own time.

That said, this is my position on the topics you bring up…

I have mixed feelings on abortion.   I think we all would like to see zero abortions, no matter what our beliefs.  As an educator, I believe high schools (and in some cases, even in middle schools) is a good time and place to introduce kids to information on their own bodies, how to protect themselves,personal responsibilities and how to avoid becoming pregnant.   This can include information on abstinence, birth control, and the dangers – physical and mental – of abortion.   And this information should be provided to boys also, as their behaviors could drastically reduce unintended pregnancy.

Reducing unintended pregnancy reduces abortion – this we can all support.   This is a very sticky political issue, but in my opinion, some of that age group is sexually active and we should make sure they should have as much information as possible so they can protect themselves.  I do NOT, however, believe schools should distribute birth control.

In general, I think abortion after the first trimester should be completely banned.   However, I can’t support a total ban as medical conditions arise.  In addition, I worry about the health consequences that would befall a young girl who becomes pregnant, and feels like she has no other option but to find a “back-alley” abortion doctor.  Being a high school teacher, I know the pressures young women are not only feeling from their peers about sexuality, but I know the pressures they feel at home.  As I said, this is a very personal issue for women to decide, and I am very conflicted.  I feel there are many shades of gray to the issue and to say one is either “with us or against us” is detrimental to having an open discussion or educational forum on the issue.

Planned Parenthood – I would never support school money going to PP, public taxpayer money going to PP or allowing PP to hold any activities in a school setting.  I am currently a high school teacher at Manatee High and I have never seen (or heard of) Planned Parenthood in any school in our county. I know our current school board would never let that happen in Manatee County. It may be happening in other counties or states but I can guarantee you this is not occurring in Manatee County schools.

I hope this covers the issues that have been brought up.  If you have more questions, or comments, I invite you to share them with me – and the whole group. And Mr. Styer, I hope you will share this response with others if you will be forwarding this message on as well.

One final note… this issue is a deeply personal one for me.  My mother, Rosemary, was like you… focused solely on abortion issue as a voter.  She would only vote for candidates who were pro-life.  She attended every March for Life in Washington, DC up until 1995 until her health made it impossible to travel.  She passed away in 1997 at the age of 53.  I don’t say this to tug at heart strings, but to let you know that I understand your position and the issue very well as I grew up in a pro-life household.  While my mother and I never agreed 100% (as I’m sure you don’t agree with me either) we did recognize the common ground we shared on the issue and always loved each other just the same despite our differences.

I thank you for all of your questions and I look forward to more dialogue with all of you.


August Mailer

This will be hitting “supervoter” mailboxes in the next 4-7 days.

post card BIG front


post card BIG back


Campaign Yard Sign

Look for one in your neighborhood soon.

yard sign