Cindy Hartig loses Osceola County School Board seat

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OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. - After months of arguments and public outburst there's been a major shakeup at the Osceola County School Board.

Osceola County School Board member Cindy Hartig lost her seat in Tuesday's primary election.

Hartig received 38 percent of the vote, while challenger Tim Weisheyer got 62 percent.

Hartig has been at the center of several controversies in recent months, and she is blaming a fellow board member for the loss.

On Wednesday, she had a strong message for her replacement.

"Keep going to church and pray. That's all I'm going to say because you're going to need it," she said.

Hartig told WFTV she's proud of her accomplishments on the board, even though they were often overshadowed by her very public battles with board member Jay Wheeler.

"I may have gone down, but I went down not lacking integrity or honesty," said Hartig.

Hartig said Wheeler's attacks on her character cost her votes. She told WFTV she's moving forward with a lawsuit against him.

Mom Jennifer Rice Palmer said she has followed the drama on the board closely and said she voted against Hartig, simply to get rid of the conflict.

"They were elected to be entrusted with the education of our children. Somehow the focus has gotten off the children and on to personalities," said Palmer.

And shifting the focus will be a priority for Hartig's replacement.

"I believe I will bring a calming voice to the board, and all the board members I think in their hearts, they want what's best for the students. We just have to get past the personality conflicts and focus on what we're there to do," said Weisheyer.

Weisheyer told WFTV the new board's first task has to be a finding a new, permanent superintendent.

Board member Julius Melendez's seat was also up for grabs, which will go to a run-off between candidates Kelvin Soto and John Ramirez.