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Ex-Broward School Board chair wants job back

The race to replace Stephanie Kraft on the Broward School Board keeps getting more interesting

On Tuesday, Don Samuels, the former board chair Kraft ousted when she was elected in 1998, filed to run for his old seat, now that Kraft has said she will not seek reelection. He is the fifth person to put in papers for the seat so far (qualifying ends in June for the August election).

In the past few weeks, Jaemi Levine and Penny McArthur Madden have also filed to run. Levine challenged Kraft in 2006 and lost.

David “Dave” Thomas and Stewart “Stew” Jackson Webster had jumped into the race earlier. Shelly Solomon Heller, a parent activist, had been the first to file the day Kraft said she would step down, but Heller later withdrew her candidacy.

Lauren Book, the daughter of lobbyist Ron Book, has also said she is considering seeking the post. She has not filed, though ex-Broward County Commissioner Scott Cowan -- a longtime friend of Ron  Book's -- said he picked up a packet for Lauren Book at the county Supervisor of Elections office last month. 

Three other incumbents will be on the ballot: Jennifer Gottlieb, Phyllis Hope, Ann Murray and Bob Parks. Only Hope has drawn an opponent thus far – Laurie Rich Levinson, a parent and the daughter of state Sen. Nan Rich, D-Weston.