It’s more than a year until Florida’s next election. Still, the first candidate to file for Florida House District Nine is wasting no time presenting herself as a friend of public education.
Leon County Schools open next Monday, August 12. And Democratic House Candidate Allison Tant had sent out a social media plea for the kind of school supplies teachers often wind up buying themselves. Within one hour Tuesday afternoon, the collection area outside Midtown’s Fifth and Thomas was overflowing with donated binders, notebooks and other items, much to Tant’s delight.
"Everything runs on the backs of our public school teachers," she remarked as a constant parade of people bearing supplies dropped off their donations. "We need to do a much better job of supporting them and helping them so they don't have to do so much on their own."
Also delighted was Tant supporter, Leon County Schools Superintendent Rocky Hanna, even though he emphasized the district has upped its school supply budget by a million dollars over the past two years.
"We're very proud of that, but we still need more," he admitted. "And Allison doing this tonight is just amazing. She's a force to be reckoned with!"
But she is no longer the lone candidate in the race. On July 29, Arnitta Grice-Walker filed to run for the District Nine House Seat, which she’s sought unsuccessfully in 2014 and 2016. She and Tant will square off in next summer’s Democratic primary.