DeSantis names Marion school board member

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Posted August 30, 2021 | Ocala Gazette Staff

Donald Browning

Donald Browning, a retired businessman, was appointed to the School Board of Marion County on Monday replacing Beth McCall who resigned in June, according to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office.

Browning, a resident of Weirsdale, takes the seat once occupied by McCall, who resigned her position after moving out of the district she was elected to represent.

Browning is the retired founder and CEO of Browning Forms and Systems, Inc.

He has run at least twice for U.S. Congress representing part of Marion County. His last bid came in 2012 when he ran for the District 11 seat currently held by Daniel Webster.

About a month after announcing his run in 2012, Browning  ended his campaign and endorsed his fellow Republican opponent.

A former member of the U.S Navy, he previously served on the Winter Springs City Council, Florida Council on Arts and Culture and the Florida Juvenile Justice Association.

Browning has volunteered his time with the Florida Sheriff’s Association, Kiwanis Club of Marion County, Ocala Lions Club and the Marion County Domestic Violence Fund. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Central Missouri, according to the governor’s office press release.

On his Linkedin page, Browning list his experience in impressionist art, photography, video and painting.

He was also a previous board member of the Marion Cultural Alliance.

Browning also is interested in aviation, auto racing and sailing, according to his webpage

On April 30, McCall posted on social media that she and her husband moved to a new home, not in District 2, but instead in District 1, which is represented by Allison Campbell. District 2 covers the Belleview and Lake Weir area of the county where McCall lived for 26 years.

“The statute is clear; I must reside in the district I serve. I will not compromise my values or integrity to find a loophole such as placing a camper in a campground in District 2 or finding other avenues to claim my residency. That is not the example I want to set for my grandchildren or the students I serve,” McCall wrote in her resignation letter.

She explained the move was necessary because of her husband’s health issues. They moved into a smaller home closer to family.

McCall was first elected to the seat in 2016. She ran unopposed in 2020 for a second four-year term.

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