MANATEE COUNTY - One closely watched race in Manatee County is the hotly contested seat for school board.
It has been a race to watch pinning Dave "Watchdog" Miner up against Robert Moates.
ABC 7 spoke with both candidates in between them visiting the polls and making that last minute push for votes.
In the midst of controversy with the Manatee County School District, after the district's superintendent resigned after mistakes totaling millions of dollars were discovered in the district’s budget, both Moates and Miner say they have solutions for the districts problems.
Moates says it's time to change the direction of the school system, focusing more on education in the classroom. He says he's taught for the last ten years and has a background working in the Florida Legislature. “We need to change the system in which it's producing. This is a management problem that we simply haven't been able to address that has lacked growth and leadership and lack of structure, so we're going to have to change our core procedure,” says Moates.
Miner is an attorney, but says he's spent a lot of time speaking in classrooms and holds various leadership positions in community organizations. He says a real change is needed in the way business is handled within the district. “We need more accountability, transparency. We need to focus on the classroom and make sure children are getting the best representative,” says Miner.
Whoever wins this race will replace Harry Kinnan, who is retiring. It is a countywide election for the District 2 Seat.