Hastings, Cowart defeat Roach, Quincey

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By Ryan Butler

Winning 55.23 percent of the vote, incumbent Robert Hastings defeated Cindy Roach 9,790 votes to 7,935, securing a second four-year term as Levy County school district superintendent. 

Roach, a former teacher and teachers union president, said her campaign was unable to overcome Hastings’ name recognition and advantages as incumbent.

“We knew it was an uphill battle to run against an incumbent, but (losing by 1,855) votes isn’t too shabby,” Roach said. “I’m real proud of what we did.”

In the county's tightest race, Chris Cowart defeated Kyle Quincey 8,843 votes to 8,250 for the District 2 school board spot. 

Cowart, also a teacher and parent at Cedar Key, attended all but one schoolboard meeting during the past calendar year. The Cedar Key School girls basketball coach won the general election after a narrow defeat to Quincey in the primaries. 

“As a coach, you only have a select number of kids that you can impact their lives. Now, I have a chance to impact 5,500 kid’s lives in Levy County, “ Cowart said.

Quincy and Cowart went to the general election after the primary left neither with a plurality. They were the two highest vote-getters in the six-way primary race featuring Billy Hinote, Avery Baker, Sandra Worthington Hodge and Marissa DeHaven. 

“We talked about my experience, educational background and my children. There is nothing else to talk about,” Quincey said. “I wouldn’t have gone anywhere different. I wouldn’t have done anything different.”

Cowart takes over for Beth Davis, who retired from the school board after three-consecutive terms. 

Paige Brookins, who ran unopposed, officially won the District 4 seat after the primary elections in August.