Former Bradenton city council member Harold Byrd Jr. launches campaign for school board seat
Byrd only candidate so far in District 2, which represents large parts of Bradenton, Palmetto on Manatee County School Board
Former long-time Bradenton City Council member Harold Byrd Jr. on Thursday launched a bid for a seat on the Manatee County School Board.
Byrd, 62, is seeking the school board’s District 2 seat in this year’s election. The seat is now held by Charlie Kennedy, who has indicated he will not seek re-election to a third term on the board.
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Byrd was a member of the city council from 1989 to 1995. He was re-elected to the council in 2007 when he ousted incumbent James Golden — who now holds the District 5 seat on the school board and is running for a second term.
Byrd’s mother, Ruby Byrd, served as a member of the school board from 1987 to 1994.
Byrd served on the city council until 2020, when he lost a bid to be elected mayor. In a three-way race, Byrd came in a distant second to Mayor Gene Brown, receiving 34% of the vote.
A graduate of Southeast High School, Byrd holds a bachelor’s degree from Eckerd College, a law degree from Florida A&M and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Phoenix.
Under a redistricting plan approved last month, District 2 is comprised of large sections of the cities of Bradenton and Palmetto. Only residents of the district will be able to vote in the race.
Byrd currently is the only official candidate for the District 2 seat.
David Levin, who in 2016 served time in jail for hacking an elections office computer system, filed for the race in September, but he dropped out this week because redistricting placed him outside of the district.. Instead, he is now a candidate for a seat on the Bradenton City Council.
The first round of voting for the nonpartisan school board positions will be during the Aug. 23 primaries. If no candidate receives more than 50% of the votes, the top two vote-getters will go to a runoff during the Nov. 8 general election.