Longtime Orange County School Board member Rick Roach filed papers this week to run two years from now in 2016 for a Senate seat that will be vacated by Sen. Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando.
Roach, a Democrat who is not seeking re-election to the School Board this year after 16 years, is the first candidate to open a campaign account to try to succeed Gardiner in Senate District 13.
Gardiner is slated to become Senate president this November but will face term limits in 2016. A critic of the state’s use of standardized testing, Roach said Tuesday he had not been interested in running for the Legislature until the past couple of years but became “fatigued at the amount of stress that is put on our school system.” He pointed to the need for a person with an education background to run.
“I think I’m just in the wrong battlefield,” Roach told The News Service of Florida. “I’m too far away from the action.” District 13 includes parts of Orange and Brevard counties.