TAMPA - Hillsborough County School Board Chairwoman April Griffin has dropped out of the race for county commission.
Griffin said her campaign for commission District 7 was taking valuable time away from her duties as school board chairwoman.
The school system is facing a number of important issues, she said, including hiring a new board attorney and the deaths of two children in the Exceptional Student Education program.
"We're going through a huge transitional phase in education in Hillsborough County," Griffin said Friday. "We've got issues that the full board should be fully engaged in."
Griffin said much of her time also is being consumed by earning a bachelor's degree in organizational studies and the psychological and sociological study of change management in complex organizations.
Griffin's exit leaves Tampa City Councilwoman Mary Mulhern and Cristina Cain to fight it out in the Democratic primary for the commission seat. So far, the only Republican seeking the seat is County Commissioner Al Higginbotham, who has to leave his east-county District 4 seat because of term limits.