Union Election Dispute in Palm Beach County; What Else Is New?

Dateline – Palm Beach County, Florida:

Palm Beach County’s teachers union declined Monday to certify the results of its presidential election after the losing candidate called for a recount.

Results tallied Saturday showed that Park Vista High teacher Justin Katz narrowly edged out Pahokee Jr./Sr. High teacher Gordan Longhofer by 28 votes out of 1,356 cast, a 2 percent margin of victory.

…But Katz, 33, said that the company that oversaw the voting process has already handed over the ballots to union leaders, many of whom opposed Katz’s outsider campaign.

“The ballots have been in the possession of the current CTA executive director (a supporter of my opponent) since the initial, objective third-party counting this past Saturday,” Katz wrote. “The lack of security and integrity surrounding any recount, given that fact, is of great concern to me.”

…Union leaders had tried to block Katz from running, removing him from the race in January after ruling that he was ineligible because his dues lapsed in 2015 when he took family leave to care for his dying grandmother.

He was reinstated later after the state teachers union called for him to be permitted to run and said that the county union’s leaders lacked “sufficient evidence to support their position.”

If this all sounds familiar, it’s because the last election led to a takeover of the local by the Florida Education Association.

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