BROOKSVILLE - A challenger has entered the previously uncontested race for the District 1 school board seat.
Mark C. Johnson is the first candidate to file for the District 1 spot. Incumbent John Sweeney said he intends to file for re-election this week.
Johnson, a local private investigator who holds a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice administration, said he wants youth programs such as the Boys and Girls Club to be strengthened.
"That's where the success is," Johnson said. "Working one-on-one with students has a very successful track record in dropout prevention, because a 30 percent non-graduation rate is completely unacceptable. That needs to be examined and reviewed."
Johnson is the husband of Arlene Glantz, who ran unsuccessfully for the District 1 commission position in 2012.
Johnson said he is the board chairman of Communities and Schools of Hernando County, a dropout program, and is a former member of the board of directors of the Boys and Girls Club of Hernando County.
Johnson said the only politics on the school board should be the politics of what is best for students.
"Whatever my personal views are have no reflection on what should happen on the school board," he said. "There's no place for it on the school board. It should be what is best for the children, for the school district."
Also vying for seats on the board are District 5 incumbent Cynthia Moore and challenger Robert Neuhausen, and District 3 candidate Elizabeth Narverud.
Supervisor of Elections Shirley Anderson said a new state law takes effect in November requiring candidates to file monthly financial reports, rather than quarterly reports.
To view campaign finance reports, go to www.hernandovotes.com