Brian Graham (Florida)

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Brian Graham
Brian Graham (Florida).jpg
Former candidate for
Board member, Clay County School Board, District 5
Prior offices
Clay County Soil and Water Conservation District
2009 - present
Associate'sSanta Fe College
Bachelor'sFlagler College
ProfessionCommunity relations coordinator
Campaign website
Brian Graham campaign logo

Brian Graham was a candidate for the District 5 seat on the Clay County School Board in Florida. He was defeated by Sandra Dunnavant and Ashley Gilhousen in the general election on August 26, 2014.


Graham earned an associate degree in political science from Santa Fe College. He later received a B.S. in public administration from Flagler College. Graham has managed campaigns for U.S. Representative Daniel Webster and four candidates for the Florida State House. He currently works as the community relations coordinator for Bradford County School District. Graham is a managing partner with Dixie Strategies, LLC. He also serves on the Clay County Soil and Water Conservation District, where he was first elected in 2009.[1]



See also: School District of Clay County elections (2014)


The August 26, 2014, general election in Clay County featured three seats up for election. Only the District 3 race was decided in the general election. Challenger Betsy Condon defeated incumbent Tina Bullock to win the seat.

The general election determined if candidates for each seat could garner a majority of the vote total. Because no candidate received 50 percent plus one of the general election votes in Districts 1 and 5, the top two vote recipients advanced to the runoff election on November 4, 2014.

Janice Kerekes faced a challenge from Kenny Leigh and Amber Harmony Shepherd in District 1. Kerekes and Leigh advanced to the runoff election. Sandra Dunnavant, Ashley Gilhousen and Brian Graham ran to replace Lisa Graham, who did not file for re-election in District 5. Gilhousen and Dunnavant advanced to the runoff election to fill the open seat.


School District of Clay County, District 5 General Election, 4-year term, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngAshley Gilhousen 39.3% 8,720
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngSandra Dunnavant 31.2% 6,917
     Nonpartisan Brian Graham 29.5% 6,529
Total Votes 22,166
Source: Clay County Supervisor of Elections, "2014 Primary Election Official Results," accessed December 23, 2014


Graham reported $38,002.53 in contributions and loans and $10,672.91 in expenditures to the Clay County Supervisor of Elections, as of July 23, 2014.[2]


Graham received the following endorsements in this election:[3]

What's at stake?

Issues in the district

Debate over superintendent selection process

School board members approved placement of a measure on the November 4, 2014 ballot that will determine whether the superintendent is elected or appointed in the future. The measure debate at the July 17, 2014 board meeting stems from an ongoing debate between Superintendent Charlie Van Zant, who was elected by the public in 2012, and board members who want to appoint future superintendents. Supporters of an appointed superintendent believe that school board members are best qualified to determine future leaders of district schools. A group of citizens countered during the July 17 meeting that an elected superintendent is accountable to local residents.[4]

About the district

See also: School District of Clay County, Florida
School District of Clay County is located in Clay County, Florida
School District of Clay County is based in Green Cove Springs, the county seat of Clay County, Florida. Clay County is home to 161,096 residents, according to the United States Census Bureau.[5] School District of Clay County is the 22nd-largest school district in Florida, serving 35,659 students during the 2011-2012 school year.[6]


Clay County underperformed in comparison to the rest of Florida in terms of higher education achievement in 2012. The United States Census Bureau found that 23.5 percent of Clay County residents aged 25 years and older had attained a bachelor's degree compared to 26.2 percent for Florida as a whole. The median household income in Clay County was $59,649 compared to $47,309 for the state of Florida. The poverty rate in Clay County was 10.1 percent compared to 15.6 percent for the entire state.[5]

Racial Demographics, 2013[5]
Race Clay County (%) Florida (%)
White 82.8 78.1
Black or African American 10.6 16.7
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.5 0.5
Asian 3.1 2.7
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.1 0.1
Two or More Races 2.8 1.9
Hispanic or Latino 8.7 23.6

Party registration, 2014[7]
Party Number of registered voters
Republican 72,472
Democratic 31,310
Other 30,619
Total 134,401

Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin, not a race. Therefore, the Census allows citizens to report both their race and that they are from a "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin simultaneously. As a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table will exceed 100 percent. Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one or two tenths off from being exactly 100 percent.[8]

Recent news

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