Wake County Schools

Eight apply to fill vacant Wake school board seat

Posted January 4, 2013

— Eight people have put their name in the running for the Wake County school board seat left vacant by former member Chris Malone.

Tom Benton, a retired school principal from Zebulon, and Wendy Ford, a Wake schools volunteer and former school board member in Upstate New York, are among those who applied to carry out the remainder of Malone's term, which expires this year.

The names of six others weren't immediately available because the applications were filed shortly before the 5 p.m. Friday deadline.

Malone, a Republican, represented District 1 in northeast Wake County from 2009 until December, when he resigned after being elected to the state House of Representatives.

He was one of four people elected to the nine-member school board in 2009, creating a Republican majority that implemented controversial changes to how the district operates, including the long-standing way the school system assigns students to schools.

The politically divided school board, which is now controlled by a Democratic majority, meets Tuesday, when it is expected to discuss a timeline for interviews.

Members hope to appoint Malone's replacement by the end of the month and have that person sworn into office in early February.

According to election records, Benton is a registered Democrat, and Ford, of Wake Forest, is a registered Republican.


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  • ConservativeVoter Jan 8, 2013

    They should let the voters select the replacement to fill out the term.

  • ConservativeVoter Jan 8, 2013

    The replacement will be a Democrat. All other qualifications won't matter.

  • 426X3 Jan 7, 2013

    All the seats should be open. Clean house and start over.

  • HANS FOR PRESIDENT!!!!! JK Jan 7, 2013

    Hard to imagine a good intentioned, bipartisan type person throwing for that gig.

  • injameswetrust2003 Jan 4, 2013

    I'll bet the 'non-partisan' board that fired Mr. Tata will 'coincidentally' fill the seat with a liberal - and a lifer. Not hard to predict, just drink the old wake koolaid, that's the requirement.

  • westernwake1 Jan 4, 2013

    Now suddenly the headline changes and we are up to 8 applicants from 2 earlier, and information about Tom Benton and Wendy Ford is removed from the story.

  • cjw6105 Jan 4, 2013

    District 1 voters should feel good about having had no vote on any of the 9 school board members once a successor to Malone is chosen.

    The other 8 members, none of whom answered to District 1 voters at the ballot box, will choose the successor.

    Choice in Wake County? Perish the thought!

  • westernwake1 Jan 4, 2013

    Tom Benton, having worked as a Wake county administrator, probably has an edge for filling the seat over Wendy Ford (who very well may be qualified as well).

    I hope that we appoint a school board member who is focussed on what is best for the children, acts as an independent, and puts the destructive partisan politics aside.

  • taylor3297 Jan 4, 2013

    Benton was an excellent principal. He was the type that put the students needs first.
    Don't know anything else about the other person, except for what little was reported in the article.

  • gingerlynn Jan 4, 2013

    They must be gluttons for punishment. That is a thankless job.