Joe Faherty wins his first term on the Citrus County School Board

Citrus County voters decided a change was needed at the school board, sending in a longtime school resource assistant Joe Faherty as Linda Powers, holder of four terms.

With all precinct reportsFaherty won with 57% of the vote.

The Citrus County School Board’s only race pitted an 18-year-old incumbent against a challenger who is no stranger to schools himself.

The incumbent powers hoped to earn a fifth full term by overcoming his second-place finish in the District 5 primary in Faherty.

Faherty finished first with 31% of the vote in August, enough to top four people Main field but well below the 50% plus 1 needed to prevent runoff.

Faherty, who is retiring later this month after more than 20 years as Citrus County sheriff school resource assistantmade his first attempt at election.

He focused on school safety, saying that during his career in school law enforcement, he reported many issues to principals that led to safety improvements.

Powers, a retired school counselor, has focused on providing help for mental health issues among students, especially during their early elementary school years.

To avoid being the first incumbent in 10 years to lose reelection, Powers had to overcome a primary result that left her behind Faherty. She finished just 731 votes ahead of third place.

Four years ago, Powers won the election squarely with 55% of the vote on three primary challengers.

While their issues were similar, Faherty and Powers took different actions Fund raising paths.

Faherty shows $22,825 in collections, including $900 in candidate loans. Its contributors include former school board members Kevin Cunningham and Lou Mieleand former representative. Jimmie T. Smithwhose aid at the time, Dawn Fahertyis the wife of Joe Faherty.

Faherty also received a $1,000 post-primary check from the Citrus County Education Association (CAMC), the teachers’ union. The choice of the CCEA in the primary, Deborah Danielsfinishes third.

Faherty spent campaign funds on advertising, social media, signs and letters.

Powers’ fundraising total is similar — $21,190 — although she loaned $13,000 of it to the campaign.

While Faherty has eight individual $1,000 donations, Powers has none. The largest single check to Powers’ campaign was $400.

Powers also spent money on advertising and campaign signs.

The last Citrus County School Board incumbent to lose re-election was Bill Murray in 2012. The woman who defeated him, Susan Hale, resigned only two months in the office.

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