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Board chooses Bowden as superintendent, despite chairperson's disappointment

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SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla The Sarasota County School Board voted 5-0 to offer a Superintendent contract to Dr. Todd Bowden.  

Even though the vote was officially 5-0, two of the board members had reservations, especially chairperson Shirley Brown. Brown felt the candidate from St. Johns County, Brennan Asplen III, was a better choice.

"To have the Academic Assistant Superintendent from the number one district in the state come to Sarasota would have been wonderful and he was always my number one pick," chairperson Brown said.

Brown feels Bowden lacks experience at the elementary level. Bowden heads up the District's Career, Technical & Adult Education program.

Board Member Bridget Ziegler admits she was leaning toward the third finalist, Mark Porter from Monroe County, but by the time it was her turn to vote, Bowden already had the three votes needed to secure the majority.

"It remains to be scene how it would have gone if it was in a different order," Ziegler admits.

ABC7 was there when Brown contacted Bowden on the phone to congratulate him.

"Outstanding. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I'm excited to get to work!," Bowden said.

He'll be working closely with outgoing Superintendent Lori White who said she's "looking forward to transitioning with Dr. Bowden."

Bowden was chosen after an internal investigation found no wrongdoing regarding some allegations by former female colleagues who claimed harassment.