Cary, N.C. — In the first of four Wake County Board of Education candidate forums, current board member Bill Fletcher and challenger Nancy Caggia said they support an $810 million bond to build and repair county schools.
"The buildings we are going to build and the renovations we are going to make are absolutely needed," Fletcher said.
"I support the bond. I think our students and teachers need space in an adequate building," Caggia said.
Fletcher and Caggia, both registered Republicans, are vying for the District 9 seat on the school board, which has been known in recent years for heated partisan elections. They say they're avoiding political drama in their campaigns and focusing on the issues facing the state's largest school district.
"I find people are fed up with the volume and the politics and the drama, and they want to focus on academic achievement for the kids," Caggia said.
She said she has the backing of some Democratic leaders as well as the Wake County Republican Party, despite some conservative groups, including the Wake County Taxpayers Association, coming out against the school construction bond.
Fletcher, who was appointed to the board in March after Debra Goldman stepped down, said he has been an independent and reasonable voice on the board.
"I am the one candidate that hasn't been endorsed by either party," he said. "I am proud of that."
Fletcher has previously served three terms on the board, from 1993 to 2005, and was involved in the last major bond issue advanced by the school system.
Four seats are up for grabs on the school board, on which the Democrats currently hold a majority. The election is Oct. 8.
WRAL.com will live stream the remaining three candidate forums:
- District 2, Sept. 12 at 6:30 p.m.
- District 7, Sept. 19 at 6:30 p.m.
- District 1, Sept. 26 at 6:30 p.m.