KEY WEST ATTORNEY DARREN HORAN ENTERS SCHOOL BOARD RACE

Incumbent Bobby Highsmith has said he won't seek reelection 

Key West attorney Darren Michael Horan is running for the Monroe County School Board’s District 1 seat, according to Supervisor of Elections Joyce Griffin.

Incumbent District 1 board member Bobby Highsmith, also an attorney, has said he will not seek reelection, which prompted Horan to run. He is thus far unopposed.

“I would never have thrown my name in if Bobby was going to run again, and if he decides at the 11th hour to seek reelection, I’ll drop out. I respect him that much,” Horan, 42, told the Keys Weekly on Jan. 12. 

When asked why he’s running, Horan said, “It’s just the right time. My kids and my friends’ kids are all affected by what happens in the schools today.”

Horan has a 9-year-old daughter at Poinciana Elementary, a 4-year-old daughter in pre-kindergarten at The Basilica School of St. Mary Star of the Sea and a 20-year-old daughter who graduated from Key West High School in 2020.

“My oldest graduated Key West High at the crux of COVID in 2020 and I’ve followed the psychological, emotional and academic toll it’s taking on our kids,” he said. 

Horan is a partner in the Key West law firm of Horan Law LLC. His practice includes landlord/tenant law, land use, criminal law and business law. He grew up in Key West and is also a partner in three Key West restaurants and a catering company.

His community involvement includes the Key West Military Affairs Committee, the Key West Chamber of Commerce board of directors and Take Stock in Children as a mentor.

His wife, Jessica, is his campaign treasurer.

Elsewhere in the school district, District 4 incumbent John Dick has filed for reelection in the Middle Keys and is thus far unopposed. District 5 incumbent Sue Woltanski is running for reelection against challenger Alexandria Suarez.

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Mandy Miles drops stuff, breaks things and falls down more than any adult should. An award-winning writer, reporter and columnist, she's been stringing words together in Key West since 1998. "Local news is crucial," she says. "It informs and connects a community. It prompts conversation. It gets people involved, holds people accountable. The Keys Weekly takes its responsibility seriously. Our owners are raising families in Key West & Marathon. Our writers live in the communities we cover - Key West, Marathon & the Upper Keys. We respect our readers. We question our leaders. We believe in the Florida Keys community. And we like to have a good time." Mandy's married to a saintly — and handy — fishing captain, and can't imagine living anywhere else.