Medical Examiner’s Office investigating death of school board member

Jennifer Boyett

The Medical Examiner’s Office is investigating the death of a Sumter County School Board member who was well known in Republican circles in The Villages.

Jennifer Boyett, 35, died Sunday night at her home in Webster. The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office was called to her home at about 9 p.m.

Boyett, a mathematics and statistics professor at Hillsborough Community College, was elected to the school board in 2016. The 35-year-old had qualified for this year’s ballot and was running unopposed.

Sumter County School Board member Jennifer Boyett speaks with Gov. Rick Scott in 2017 at the Lincoln Day Dinner in The Villages.

Boyett was a fixture at GOP events in The Villages. She was among those who attended President Trump’s invitation-only Medicare-themed event this past October at The Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center in The Villages. In 2017, she was spotted chatting with Gov. Rick Scott at the Lincoln Day Dinner at Savannah Center.

Jennifer Boyett, second from left, with her husband, brother and mother, as she campaigned in 2016 for her first term on the Sumter County School Board.

Boyett was involved in ranching and enjoyed the rural agricultural life in Sumter County.

Filling the school board vacancy created by Boyett’s death could be handled in one of two ways, said Assistant Sumter School Superintendent Debbie Moffitt.

Gov. Ron DeSantis could appoint a replacement to the school board. When school board member Haydn Evans died in 2018, Gov. Scott appointed Villager Sally Moss to the school board. She won a term later that same year.

Barbara Qualls of the Republican Federated Women’s Club and Jennifer Boyett, candidate for Sumter County School Board, from left, raise their hands in support of Donald Trump in 2016 during a GOP straw poll at Savannah Center.

Or a special election could be held. All Sumter County residents would be eligible to vote in the special election, but candidates would have to be from District 4.

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