2020 Elections: Superintendent of Schools races in the Big Bend

Posted at 8:31 AM, Nov 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-02 14:11:52-05

(WTXL) — As the 2020 elections quickly approaches, there are several superintendent of schools seats up for grabs.

Here's a break down of the candidates in our surrounding counties.


Three candidates, including an incumbent, are vying to become the next leader of Leon County's public school system.

Incumbent Rocky Hanna (NPA), who was elected to the position in 2016, will go head-to head against Democratic candidate Pam Hightower. Keisha Washington will also be running in the race as a write-in candidate.

The winner of the Nov. 3 election will assume the position the second Tuesday after the general election.


Local boxing coach Richard Burns (NPA) will vie against Democratic candidate and longtime teacher Elijah Key to lead Gadsden County's public school system.

The seat is being left vacant by Roger Milton, who is not running for re-election after spending one term as superintendent.


Republican candidate and military veteran Steve Lanier will take on Democratic incumbent and longtime educator Traci Moses Yoder on Nov. 3 to claim the superintendent of schools position.

Yoder is seeking re-election after serving one term as superintendent.


Incumbent Larry Moore (D) will go head-to-head against Steve Benton Jr. (R) on Nov. 3.

Benton has served as a longtime employee in the school system and was the former school superintendent in Jackson County. Moore, who served 12 years as a deputy superintendent in Jackson County Schools, has served one term in the superintendent role.


Longtime educator Eydie Triquet (R), budget director/manager for the Gadsden County School District LaClarence Mays (D) and incumbent Marianne Arbulu (NPA) will face-off to become the next leader of Jefferson County's public school system.

Arbulu has only served one term in the superintendent role.


Liberty County School Board member Kyle Peddie (R) and Liberty County assistant superintendent J. Aaron Day (D) will vie for the superintendent seat in Jefferson County.

The current incumbent, Superintendent David Summers, is not running for re-election. He was elected in a special election in 2014, and was re-elected for his third overall term as Superintendent in 2016.


Democratic incumbent Shirley D. Joseph is going head-to-head with Ivory Thomas (NPA) on Nov. 3.

Joseph was appointed by Gov. Ron DeSantis to serve as Madison County's superintendent of schools in 2019 after serving as the interim when Dr. Karen Pickles vacated the position mid-term.


Hamilton County's superintendent race has the most candidates out of any Big Bend race.

Longtime Hamilton County teacher Lee Wetherington-Zamora (R), Hamilton County assistant superintendent Phillip H. Pinello (NPA), seasoned educator Felecia Faye Jones Moss (NPA), and former Hamilton County High School head football coach Doug Clayton (NPA) will all vie for the open seat on Election Day.

The incumbent, Rex Mitchell, is not running for re-election.


Longtime Lafayette educator William "Billy" Shows (D) will go head-to-head against incumbent Robby Edwards (R) on Nov. 3.

Edwards was first elected to the position in 2012 and served two terms prior to seeking re-election.