Orange County School Board candidate David Grimm has picked up the endorsement of state Rep. Rene Plasencia in the contest for the open District 2 seat, Grimm’s campaign announced.

The endorsement has some eyebrow-raising significance because Plasencia is a former teacher at Colonial High School, and therefore a former colleague of Grimm’s opponent, Johanna Lopez, who teaches there.

Grimm also is a teacher at Innovation Middle School.

Plasencia’s current Florida House District 50 overlaps some with the School Board District 2 covering part of southeast Orange County, and his previous House District, 49, covered much of District 2.

“As a classroom teacher for over 15 years at Colonial H.S., and now as a member of the Florida House of Representatives, education always has been my priority. That is why I endorse David Grimm for School Board District 2,” Plasencia said in a statement from Grimm’s campaign. “Over the years, I have personally seen David’s commitment to our children and schools, both as a teacher and community activist. David’s personal experiences also make him the best candidate for this seat.”

Plasencia is a Republican and Grimm is a registered Democrat; while the race and the seat are nonpartisan, there are no clear partisan ties to the endorsement.

Nonetheless, partisans are lining up.

Lopez has received several endorsements from Democratic officeholders, while several Republican officeholders now have announced they are backing Grimm.

“I am honored to receive support from another current member of local government,” Grimm stated. “Thank you, Rene Plasencia, for your kind words and confidence in leading District 2 on the Orange County School Board. #vote4grimm.”

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