Leon County Schools Superintendent Jackie Pons will run for re-election. He's going for his fourth term in the office.
Update 5:42 p.m.: Pons' decision was first reported by the Tallahassee Democrat and confirmed by WFSU.
Anotebook of documents released to the media last year questioned whether the superintendent steered construction contracts to political donors. But nearly a half dozen separate inquiries have cleared Pons of wrongdoing. Now he’s taking his case to voters.
“I think that’s one of the reasons I go back to voters to answer questions related to the audit findings we had and any type of investigation," Pons said in an interview.
City Commissioner Scott Maddox has already jumped into the race and former Leon High School principal co-author of the so-called “notebook” of allegations is rumored to be considering a bid. But Pons says he wants to try and keep the race clean:
“This isn’t like the county commission race or any other race," he said. "This is about the children and the future of the children in our community.”
Pons says he’ll formally file for re-election in August.
Pons has been mired in an FBI investigation for more than a year related to school construction expenses. But the ongoing probe into the districts school construction policies isn't stopping him from jumping into the race.
The probe stems from allegations contained in a book of documents that Pons steered lucrative school construction contacts to building firms that contributed to his campaign. So far he's been cleared of wrongdoing by nearly half a dozen separate inquiries. Pons' decision comes after City Commissioner Scott Maddox declared his bid for the Superintendent job in April.
According to campaign finance reports, Maddox has raised more than $93,000 for his bid.
Other potential candidates include former Leon High School principal Rocky Hanna, one of the authors of "the notebook" which set off the FBI investigation.