BRADENTON -- Sadie Montanus, a Palmetto High School teacher and a former policy analyst for Gov. Rick Scott's campaign, is suspending her campaign for the Manatee County School Board District 3 seat.
Montanus, 22, said her decision is based in faith and she believes her place right now is with her students in her American history and world history classes.
"It's just been completely prayer. I'm confident this is the answer, even if it doesn't make sense," she said.
Her decision is based on a lot of prayer and direction from God, Montanus said. She said Thursday she plans to file the necessary paperwork to pull out Friday, or early next week.
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Montanus denied her withdrawal from the race is based on a rocky start to the campaign. Montanus launched her campaign website prior to officially filling out her paperwork with the supervisor of elections.
She also appeared on the "Dr. Phil" show in December for anxiety. Montanus said her appearance on the show was twisted to make ratings better and missed her point.
Her decision to leave the race, she said, was not because of either of those issues.
"That was not it at all," Montanus said.
Montanus said she expected a tough campaign and knew she was a new type of person in the community to run for office. She said she was prepared for people to
doubt her and her decision to leave the race is not at all based on that.
At first, Montanus said, she thought she could have a greater effect on her students by serving on the school board. At this time, she said, she feels she can have a bigger effect on them by staying in the classroom each day.
"Their individual lives are more important to me. Instilling love into their lives every single day is more important to me," Montanus said.
Montanus said she has not yet decided to back a candidate in the District 3 race, which is now between incumbent Dave Miner and Misty Servia, a Planning Department manager at King Engineering and Associates. The District 3 seat covers west Bradenton and Anna Maria Island.
Meghin Delaney, education reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7081. Follow her on Twitter @MeghinDelaney.