Misty Martin Servia files to run for Dave Miner's Manatee County School Board seat

BRADENTON -- The first candidate to announce for the Manatee County School Board District 3 seat has filed the necessary paperwork with the elections office.

Misty Martin Servia, a 51-year-old planning department manager at King Engineering Associates and a Bradenton resident, filed this week. Servia is president of the Manatee Tiger Bay Board of Directors.

The District 3 seat is held by Dave Miner, who was elected in 2012. District 3 covers west Bradenton and Anna Maria Island.

"I'm running because, simply put, I love my community," Servia said in a statement released Wednesday. "Public service is in my heart, and I recognize that the value of education goes far beyond benefiting our individual students.

"It affects our crime rates, economic development, housing values, tax revenue and community volunteerism. I believe I can help rebuild trust in our school system through my strong leader

ship and creative problem-solving."

Servia is a graduate of Sarasota County public schools, has a bachelor's degree in geography from Florida State University and is certified through the American Institute of Certified Planners, according to her release. She and her husband, Joaquin, have three children who have attended Palma Sola Elementary, King Middle, Johnson Middle and Manatee High schools.

District 3 is one of two regularly scheduled school board elections for 2016. There will also be a special election in 2016 to fill the late Mary Cantrell's District 5 seat.

District 1, which covers the northern part of the county, is also up for election. The District 1 seat is held by Bob Gause.

Ed Viltz, who works at Team Success, a Title 1 charter school in Manatee County, filed to contest the District 1 seat in March.

Neither Gause nor Miner have filed for re-election.

In March, Gause said he hadn't even begun to think about re-election yet. On Wednesday, Miner echoed similar sentiments.

"I'm too busy serving the community and the children on the board to be thinking about politics at this time," Miner said.

The third school board two-year term came open after Cantrell died. District 5 covers Lakewood Ranch and the eastern part of the county south of State Road 64.

Cantrell was originally to serve until 2018. Gov. Rick Scott is expected to appoint a candidate to serve until the 2016 election, when the public will elect a candidate to serve a term through 2018.

Meghin Delaney, education reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7081. Follow her on Twitter @MeghinDelaney.