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Scott Shine won't seek re-election to Duval County School Board

Shine withdraws as candidate after walking out of meeting

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After he abruptly left a meeting over what he called personal attacks, Duval County School Board member Scott Shine withdrew his name as a candidate for re-election to the board.

The Supervisor of Elections confirmed Tuesday that Shine would not be seeking re-election.

Shine walked out of a board meeting Monday morning not long after the board chose six semifinalists in its search for a new Duval County superintendent. During comments after the semifinalists were chosen, board member Becki Couch said the members should respect each other and talk to each other, not the media.

Shine, who frequently grants media interviews, took it as a personal affront and left the room.

“We were going back into the personal attacks. I don’t think that’s really productive, and that’s not why we're here,” Shine said, explaining why he walked out. “In fact, under the rules, we're supposed to keep it to the business on the floor.”

Shine said he's open with the media because he thinks the public has a right to know what's happening with their elected officials.

“I think it’s important that the citizens of Duval County actually know what their elected officials are thinking, so I think it’s critical that we speak directly to the public,” Shine said.

But he declined to comment Tuesday when News4Jax questioned him about withdrawing his name as a candidate for re-election.

He said he wants to keep fellow board members happy, so he will not be doing an interviews.

Shine released the following statement Wednesday:

With much thought, I have decided to withdraw from re-election to the Duval County School Board.  I originally filed to run for re-election over a year ago.  That was prior to Dr. Nikolai Vitti leaving the district. Dr. Vitti and I worked well together and we became good friends -- we remain so, today.  Among the reasons I ran for School Board was to work with Vitti and his team.  The results speak for themselves: record Florida Achievement scores, record graduation rates and the top rated urban school district in America (NAEP).  In all honesty, I have been on the fence about continuing on the board since Dr. Vitti’s departure.

Over the past month, I have been in discussions with one of Jacksonville’s most promising young leaders about running for my seat.  His credentials are among the best you will find and will bring new and impactful ideas to the school district. There should be an announcement on this soon. 

While I have worked successfully in many different settings in life, I found the School Board to be somewhat strange and foreign to the experiences I have had working in the business community or as an appointed official with the City of Jacksonville.  There are many challenges on the School Board and the ability to make forward progress and productive change is inconsistent with my personal goals and level of ambition.  There are many ways to support our community and I am looking forward to new and impactful public service in the future.

I continue to be optimistic about our schools and our city.  I love Jacksonville and I enjoy my life here.  I am elated at the prospect of adding time back in my day to pursue the things I enjoy about the First Coast.  My outlook is positive and I am ready to move forward.