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After losing a 2012 race for a seat on the S a r a s o t a C o u n t y C o m m i s s i o n , R a n d y McLendon, the founder of the Englewood tea party group Taking Our Country Back, is once again running for higher office, filing paperwork this week to challenge incumbent School Board member Jane Goodwin. McLendon has cited his opposition to the set of national education standards known as Common Core as a major reason for his decision to run. He tells The Sarasota News Leader he's not opposed to standards per se, but he objects to how the federal government has "usurped" Common Core. He calls the federal government's promotion of Common Core "a huge and unconstitutional federal government overstep," and praises the state of Florida for adopting what's known as the Florida Standards, which, while largely simi- lar to Common Core, replace it and contain a number of additional items. When asked what a School Board member can do to oppose the new standards, McLendon says elected officials should be "standing on their desks, waving their arms and shouting to the community about what is happening and asking the community to help them get things changed by law." In 2012, McLendon challenged Charles Hines in that year's Republican primary for the County Commission, taking home 41 percent of the vote in a losing effort. His opponent this year, Goodwin, was first elected in 2010, when she won a narrow 52 percent to 48 per- cent victory. Sarasota County School Board candidate Randy McLendon. Photo courtesy TEXTBOOKS AND TEA FOUNDER OF ENGLEWOOD TEA PARTY GROUP JOINS SARASOTA COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD RACE By Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor

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