Debra Hixon and Jeff Holness -- the leading candidates for the Broward County School Board’s at-large District 9 seat -- will head to a runoff election in November following Tuesday’s Democratic primary in Florida.
With 567 of 577 precincts reporting, Hixon won an overwhelming majority of the vote -- 40,000 more than her main contender, Holness. Holness earned just over 73,000 votes, with Hixon gaining more than 117,000.
Although Hixon earned a sizable lead, the candidates will head to a runoff election in November because Hixon did not receive 50% of the total votes. The longtime Broward County school teacher received 41.72% of total votes, while Holness -- a former Broward County social studies teacher -- received 25.95%.
The winner of the race will replace Robin Bartleman, who is leaving the School Board to run for a seat in the Florida House.
Hixon and Holness appeared on the ballot alongside Jimmy Witherspoon, Joyce “Jersey Girl” Bryan, and Narnike “Nikki” Grant.
Hixon is the wife of Parkland shooting victim Chris Hixon, who was the athletic director and wrestling coach at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Debra Hixon has been a South Florida teacher for more than 30 years.
Holness has worked for more than 20 years as a teacher and assistant principal designee for Broward County Public Schools. He currently owns and operates a math and learning center in Coral Springs.
Jimmy Witherspoon has worked with the Broward County School Board for 17 years. He is also the Pastor at Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church in Fort Lauderdale.
Joyce “Jersey Girl” Bryan is a retired commissioner and former vice mayor of Margate. She’s also worked as a substitute teacher in Broward County.
Narnike “Nikki” Grant is a substitute teacher, community activist and mother of 5 who also serves as PTO president.