Aranibar, Cantrell head to runoff


Aranibar, Cantrell head to runoff


Date: August 26, 2014
by: Pam Eubanks | Senior Editor


EAST COUNTY — As School Board District Chairwoman Julie Aranibar sat at the dais Tuesday night hearing audit and budget updates, considering purchase contracts and taking other actions, opponent Mary Cantrell relaxed among friends and fellow educators at a riverfront home as she waited to hear who secured the District 5 school board seat.

And that fate is still yet to be determined.

The East County residents now will face off in the general election Nov. 4, after neither secured the majority of the vote — a required 50% plus one vote — in Tuesday’s primary election.

Aranibar garnered 38.18% of the vote, or 15,014 votes, while Cantrell secured 36.28%, or 14,269 votes.
Fellow candidate James T. Golden secured 18.29% of the vote, or 7,193 votes.

Aranibar, who is vying for her second term on the school board, is a molecular biologist by training and has been involved in Manatee County public schools since 1999, when she began volunteering.

“I thank the voters, and I look forward to the next campaign for November,” Aranibar said. “Having served the last four years, in some of the most difficult days, I know our district. I know the departments. I know the financial needs of our district.

“I think we have the right leadership team in place and the right teachers in place,” she said. “If we can move from 47th to 37th (in the state) in one year, and we are within reach of being a B district — 10 points away — then, within the next four years, the Manatee County School District should be in the top percentages of this state.”

Cantrell, who served as the leader of Manatee Technical Institute for 18 years, served as an educator in pre-kindergarten through high school levels before beginning work at MTI.

Cantrell’s contract with MTI was not renewed in June.

“I’m a great believer (that the) things (that) are supposed to happen, happen,” Cantrell said, noting friends encouraged her to run for the school board seat. “When I was non-renewed, it took my breath away. But you don’t sit and cry over what you can’t change. If I’m lucky (to be elected), it gives me a broader platform to help more people.”

In the School Board District 4 race, incumbent Karen Carpenter retained her seat, beating out opponent Frank Brunner with 57.39% of the vote, or 24,865 votes, compared with Brunner’s 36.07%, or 15,629 votes.
In the School Board District 2 race, Charlie Kennedy will assume the seat being vacated by longtime member Barbara Harvey, who is retiring. He beat out challenger Rodney Jones with 50.52% of the vote, or 21,889 votes, compared with Jones’ 39.06%, or 16,923 votes.

In the race for the District 4 seat on the Manatee County Board of County Commissioners, incumbent Robin DiSabatino was re-elected, beating out fellow Republican Tim Norwood with 61.53% of the vote, or 3,792 votes, compared with Norwood’s 32.4%, or 1,995 votes.

District 4’s eastern boundary along Lockwood Ridge Road includes East County communities, such as Cascades of Sarasota, among others.

Countywide, 43,324 ballots were cast for a 20.6% voter turnout. There are 210,334 registerd voters in Manatee County.

Contact Pam Eubanks at

To see full election results, click here.

Login Register now

Currently 3 Responses

  • 1.
  • I left 2 comments hours ago but they are not showing up. They each questioned the credentials of Julie Aranibar as a molecular biologist. She has no degree in biology.
  • Jane Pfeilsticker
    Fri 29th Aug 2014
    at 11:11am
  • 2.
  • This article states that Julie Aranibar is a molecular biologist. What degree does she hold to substantiate this claim? She has a BA degree in business. To claim the label of molecular biologist one must have at least a BS in molecular biology, preferably a masters or PhD. As a credentialed molecular biologist, I am offended.
  • Jane Pfeilsticker
    Fri 29th Aug 2014
    at 6:39am
  • 3.
  • I take exception with your description of Julie Aranibar as a molecular biologist. She has a BA degree in business that took her 12 years to earn. The closest thing she has to this is a trade school certificate as a lab assistant. This is a misrepresentation. I challenge this assertiion.
  • Jane Pfeilsticker
    Fri 29th Aug 2014
    at 6:09am
Login below to post a comment or click register.
Account E-Mail
forgot password? click here
Speak Your Mind Below!


Subscribe to our eNewsletters
1970 Main Street, Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-3468

Copyright 2015 The Observer Group Inc., All Rights Reserved