Ex-con drops out of Manatee School Board race. But he is not done with politics
David Levin in 2016 pled guilty to hacking computers at Lee County elections office
Redistricting has accomplished what a criminal record could not: Derailing David Levin’s campaign for a seat on the Manatee County School Board.
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Levin, who served time for hacking into the computers at the Lee County elections office in December 2015, and January 2016, notified Manatee Supervisor of Elections Mike Bennett that he was withdrawing from the race, set for election later this year. Under newly drawn school board districts approved Dec. 14, Levin no longer lives in the school board’s District 2, now represented by Charlie Kennedy.
Kennedy has indicated he does not plan to run for re-election, and no one else has yet filed for the race.
Levin, 36, now lives in District 3, which is represented by Mary Foreman, who is not up for re-election this year.
Levin still running in 2022 elections
However, Levin, who raised $1,400 in cash and in-kind contributions — mostly from himself and his wife — is not abandoning politics.
In a letter to Bennett dated Wednesday, Levin said he planned to instead run for the Ward 2 seat on the Bradenton City Council, a position now held by Marianne Barnebey who was appointed after Gene Brown was elected mayor in 2020. Barnebey, who previously held the seat from 1998 to 2012, has not filed for re-election.
The elections website later listed Levin as a city council candidate.
“In stocism, we have a saying, ‘(T)he obstacle is the way,’” Levin wrote in his letter to Bennett. “Hopefully, some of my sweat equity transfers.”
Last September, Levin, who was sentenced to 20 days in jail after he took a plea deal on the hacking charges, told The Bradenton Journal in he hopes voters will see him as “someone who is going to face the music, someone who doesn’t engage in coverups. It wasn’t an easy decision to make. I can make tough decisions and I am not going to try to cover up something scandalous.
“And I can probably fix their printer.”
This story has been updated to reflect that Levin is now an official candidate for a seat on the Bradenton City Council.
You can reach the writer at Marc.R.Masferrer@gmail.com