Local Politics

Dems sweep GOP off Wake Board of Commissioners

Posted November 4, 2014
Updated November 5, 2014

— Democrats will hold all seven seats on the Wake County Board of Commissioners, starting next month, after all four Republican commissioners lost their bids for re-election on Tuesday.

Republicans have held a 4-3 edge on the board in recent years, leading to partisan votes and some bitter feelings on issues such as education funding and support for mass transit.

Democrats Sig Hutchinson, Matt Calabria, Jessica Holmes and John Burns each captured about 55 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results, defeating longtime Commissioners Joe Bryant and Paul Coble, board Chairman Phil Matthews and Rich Gianni, who joined the board earlier this year.

The four Democrats ran as a bloc under the "More with Four" banner, and they promised a more upbeat tone for the board, which has bickered with the Wake County Board of Education in recent years over control of schools, and movement on a mass transit proposal.

"We all sort of bring a very different skill set to the table, not to mention I think we all come form a very good place of caring about teachers and education in particular," Holmes said. "So, we have passions in common, like moving forward on transit, creating a positive relationship for our school board, and I think that's going to distinguish us from the current board."

The Republicans touted their experience and predicted a Democratic majority on the board would lead to higher taxes.

"It’s a big deal because it’s a mandate," Burns said of the Democratic sweep. "It's an absolutely sweeping mandate to do things about public schools, to work very carefully in collaboration with the public school board, to serve our public schools to fully fund our public schools and to move forward on education."


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  • Tom Boswell Nov 5, 2014
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    It is to late. The people have spoken. We had a 9% increase in real estate taxes last year to pay for the school bond. Coming is an increase in the sales tax and another real estate increase. We will being paying for a transit bond and another billion dollar school bond because the 800 million we gave them a year ago is not enough.

  • Daryl Hales Nov 5, 2014
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    You are right, the GOP gave the teacher assistants a raise, The Wake County Democrat Commissioners and the school board cut their pay and time. While increasing the teachers. My wife has been a TA for 15 years, in Wake County.

  • ncguy Nov 5, 2014

    let the nepotism begin

  • AmazedAtThis Nov 5, 2014

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    Coble has been practicing the politics of No for a long time. Folks have had enough of that. You can be a good conservative and still collaborate and get some things done. Margiotta getting the boot off the school board should have been a signal to these guys to move to the middle a bit. I suspect it wasn't a bunch of 'newbies' from up north, they tend to lean to the right. I think it was the folks who actually pay attention that drie this result. It was time for some fresh eyes on the county issues. Happy to see the last of the Fetzer regime hit the bricks.

  • Jim Hunnicutt Nov 5, 2014
    user avatar

    With the admittedly excellent ground game that Kay Hagen had in Wake County this was an entirely predictable outcome. The folks that turned out to support her voted "D" down ticket with the four commissioners bearing the brunt of it. It's a shame, but it is what it is.

  • TheMunn Nov 5, 2014

    For folks saying they're going to leave Wake County because of these election results, don't let the door hit you on the way out.

  • davidhartman Nov 5, 2014

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    Funny the site you claim as factual actually spins the data in his (extreme liberal) favor.

    Try these facts on for size:

    Projected and Recent US Federal Debt Numbers
    Year Gross
    Federal Debt Debt Held by
    Public (not FRS) Debt held by
    gov. accounts Debt Held by
    Federal Reserve 2015* $18.7 trln $11.5 trln $5.1 trln $2.5 trln 2014 $17.8 trln $10.3 trln $5.1 trln $2.5 trln 2013 $16.7 trln $9.9 trln $4.7 trln $2.1 trln 2012 $16.1 trln $9.6 trln $4.8 trln $1.6 trln 2011 $14.8 trln $8.5 trln $4.6 trln $1.7 trln 2010 $13.5 trln $8.2 trln $4.5 trln $0.8 trln 2009 $11.9 trln $6.8 trln $4.3 trln $0.8 trln

  • ncprr1 Nov 5, 2014

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    If you define record pay raises as "screwing" with teachers...hard to argue with that logic.

  • davidhartman Nov 5, 2014

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    You are incorrect, but why let facts get in the way. Republicans have held taxes and reduced them every term they have held.

    Get ready for a slew of tax & spend initiatives which the liberal will gobble up like a 2-year old eating candy on Halloween.

    Property taxes will go through the roof unless conservatives mount a protracted battle to fight these tools from every angle.

  • yellow_hat Nov 5, 2014

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    Don't confuse the sheep with the facts!