SEBRING — Dustin Woods has withdrawn from the crowded Highlands County School Board District 5 race, citing “personal and professional obligations.”
When Woods, the lead pastor of Grace Bible Church in Sebring, had prefiled as a candidate in mid March, it had been a three-way race, which grew to six contenders before he withdrew.
In an email sent Thursday to Supervisor of Elections Penny Ogg, Woods said: “I regret to inform you that due to some personal and professional obligations I must withdraw my candidacy for the School Board elections.”
Woods told Highlands Today Monday that obligations have arisen that will prevent him from “being able to serve the community at the capacity that they deserve.
“I certainly look forward to being involved and hopefully running in the future,” he added.
The large field of candidates had no bearing on his withdrawal, Woods maintained.
“I like a large field because I believe the community deserves multiple good candidates,” he said. “I still feel like there are some great candidates in that district.”
Woods said he is a little disappointed he had to withdraw, but believes it was the right decision.
The five remaining candidates for District 5 are: Jill Compton; Clinton T. Culverhouse; William F. Hutchinson, III; Trevor A. Murphy and William ‘Tres’ Stephenson, III.
The seat has been vacant since Andy Tuck resigned from the school board in February after Gov. Rick Scott appointed him to the State Board of Education. Meanwhile, the District 1 seat has three candidates: Charlene Edwards, Al Joe Hinson and incumbent Ronnie L. Jackson.
Incumbent William “Bill” Brantley is the only candidate who has filed so far for the District 4 school board race.
The candidate qualifying period for the non-partisan election is noon, June 16 through noon, June 20. The election for the school races is Aug. 26.