School board race: James and Gray

Among the slew of options on the ballot, voters will see two choices for a member of the Hillsborough County board of education. Lynn Gray and Cathy James are running for District 7.

School boards are supposed to focus on ensuring that the taxpayers’ dollars go toward providing the best education possible for students, according to the National School Board Association.

In the primary elections, James pulled 23.08 percent of the votes with Gray having come in second at 19.67 percent, according to the supervisor of elections website. School board members are not bipartisan positions.

James currently works as the finance manager at Tampa Hillsborough Homeless Initiative, Inc. She’s worked for over 30 years in financial accounting and management experience.

For the past five years, she’s been participating in Great American Teach, she’s been part of the PTSA at her son’s school and she’s been a member and vice chair of the Hillsborough School Board Citizen Advisory Committee for 15 years.

James has been endorsed by the Tampa Bay Times.

According to, she believes that the most serious problem in the education system is the financial health of  schools because it “permeates every aspect of the school day.”

Gray has been teaching for over 26 years and owns her own business called “Take … The First Step” and is the president of a nonprofit, which both advocate for improving fitness in students.

Her primary goals include making students healthier, improving literacy and creating a program to help children overcome problems they face at school, at home and in the world.

She’s been endorsed by Greater Tampa Association of Realtors, Inc.

According to, Gray’s positions include teaching students rather than teaching to the test and making sure that students are “challenged intellectually, culturally, physically and supported emotionally.”