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Upsets Claim Jefferson Superintendent And Wakulla Sheriff

Jefferson School Superintendent Al Cooksey lost his re-election bid Tuesday.

Jefferson County School Superintendent Al Cooksey and Wakulla Sheriff Charlie Creel are out of their jobs. Both lost primary challenges Tuesday, amid controversies in their administrations.

Jefferson School Superintendent Al Cooksey lost his re-election bid. The results come after the district was placed under state financial control last month. Cooksey is set to appear before the state board of education Wednesday to discuss further options for his district. But his loss follows a similar pattern of his predecessor, who lost his job under similar circumstances. Cooksey was defeated in the Republican Primary by businesswoman Marianne Arbulu. She will face Kelvin Norton, assistant principal of Godby High School, in November.

Meanwhile Wakulla’s Charlie Creel will be a one-term sheriff.

“I think Creel, the criticism kind of caught up to him, and that’s kind of the curse of the incumbent, and Miller is coming in with a cleaner slate,” says Wakulla News’ Nicole Zema.

The state attorney’s office declined to charge Creel in connection to a 2014 incident where a convicted sex offender was allowed to work a high school graduation event. Creel had no knowledge the man was a sex offender. The Sheriff has also faced criticism over his handling of deputies who made racially charged comments on facebook in 2014.

Creel will be replaced by Major Jared Miller, a 22 year veteran of the Wakulla Sheriffs Office. 

Follow @HatterLynn

Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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