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Laurie Lawson Cox wins a seat on the Leon County School Board

A woman in a red sweater and a man in blue talk to each other while seated at a table
Lydell Rawls
WFSU Public Media
Laurie Cox (left) and Alex Stemle (right) talk education, politics, and policy during a voter forum at WFSU

Laurie Lawson Cox is the newest member of the Leon County School Board. Cox beat out Godby Assistant Principal Alex Stemle for the job.

The district she'll represent covers parts of both the poorest and more affluent zip codes in the county.

Cox had the informal backing of the local Mom’s 4 Liberty chapter, though it did not make a formal endorsement in the race. Stemle, meanwhile, had the backing of the local teachers union. The seat came open earlier this year when DeeDee Rasmussen abruptly resigned.

As results became clearer, Stemle sent out a statement expressing disappointment with the outcome of the race.

"Tonight did not end the way we had hoped and our #KIDSFIRST pro public school message did not win the day. Thankful for this election, our neighbors, and our schools here in District 4. Proud of our clean campaign and the positive example we set for our community- we refused to go dirty. I wish our new school board the best," he said in a Facebook post.

While the race is non-partisan, Cox has been a registered Republican since 2008, while Stemle switched his party affiliation from Republican to No Party Affiliated in 2020. Leon school board members have a $44,000 a year, salary.

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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