MANATEE -- Robert Moates of Bradenton has filed to run for the District 2 school board seat in Manatee County.
Moates, an American government and economics teacher at Lakewood Ranch High School, has taught in the county for nine years. He’s a Manatee County native who attended Jessie P. Miller and Onecoelementaries, W.D. Sugg Middle and Manatee High schools.
The 39-year-old has worked in the U.S. House of Representatives, the Florida Legislature and ran political campaigns. In the Florida legislature he worked as an analyst, legislative aide and in the minority and majority offices from 1994, 1998 to 2001.
From 2001-02 he was a aide to a U.S. Congressman.
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Moates is a graduate of Florida State University, where he received a B.A. in political science and business communications.
“I think I have something to offer,” Moates said when asked why he tossed his name in the political arena. “There comes a time for each generation to step up to a leadership role to improve the community. I think we need a new direction in the Manatee County School District.”
Moates will be running against longtime school board veteran Harry Kinnan, whose term expires in November 2012.
“I think Harry Kinnan is a good man,” Moates said. “And I respect him and his family. I just think we need a different set of eyes.”
A few others agree with Moates, including several former students. Graduates of Lakewood Ranch and county residents have offered well wishes on Moates’ Facebook and Twitter pages. One such former student is Erick Simon, who believes Moates’ government experience can be used to help the Manatee County School Board.
“I think he’s the best person for the job,” he said.