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Nicole Carr

First-term Pinellas County School Board member Nicole Carr of St. Petersburg had taken all the steps to launch her 2022 reelection bid.

Her website was up and running. Her campaign account reports showed she had put $30,000 of her own money toward reclaiming the at-large District 3 seat.

Over Thanksgiving, Carr had a change of heart.

“I’ve just made the decision not to seek reelection,” Carr told the Tampa Bay Times.

She said her decision was not connected to any of the controversies or difficulties the district experienced during the pandemic. Carr was not chosen as board chairperson by her colleagues this fall, in a vote that fell along lines of support for student masking.

“It’s not like a single obstacle or a disgruntled position,” she explained.

Rather, she found that the advisory nature of the board member position did not fit with her preferred role of serving the community by being a “doer.”

“Knowing myself and my skills, and when I feel most effective and fulfilled — It’s been great, but it’s not something I would want to do another four years,” said Carr, a district teacher and administrator before her 2018 victory over three-term incumbent Peggy O’Shea.

She officially withdrew her name from the race on Dec. 8, saying she hoped it would give potential candidates a chance to organize their campaigns.

“It’s been a great experience,” she said, noting she would spend more time focused on district issues than on campaigning. “More folks should consider seeking office so they can have that experience.”

So far, one person other than Carr has prefiled for the District 3 seat. Dawn Peters, a nutritionist and active school volunteer, has said she is seeking election because she viewed the current board as lacking interest in parent and teacher involvement.