Wake County Schools

School board candidate denies 'tea party extremist' claims

Posted September 23, 2011
Updated September 27, 2011

— A candidate running for the District 3 seat on the Wake County Board of Education says that postings she made last year on a social networking site have been taken out of context on a website that's challenging her ability to effectively serve on the board.

"I don't appreciate the personal attacks, and what I want people to know about me is that I am strong in my stance," Heather Losurdo, a registered Republican, said Friday. "My stance in this case is making education the best that we can in Wake County."

The website, paid for by a nonpartisan group called Progress North Carolina Action, surfaced this week, accusing Losurdo of hate speech, anti-public school views and calling her a "tea party extremist whose radical right viewpoints make her unstable to hold office."

The site contains posts captured from Facebook that appear to have been made last year by Losurdo and her husband.

One compares President Barack Obama to a skunk and is "liked" by Losurdo, who also commented, "LMAO."

It also claims Losurdo posted a "racist video full of Mexican stereotypes" that compares Mexican workers to the cartoon mouse "Speedy Gonzales."

"We urge you to review this evidence and decide for yourself if Losurdo possesses the qualities that would make her a good school board member," the website says.

Website targets school board candidates Facebook posts Website targets school board candidate's Facebook posts

Gerrick Brenner, executive director of Progress North Carolina Action, said his group was concerned by the pattern of information indicated by Lusordo's actions.

"It's information people should take and consider about how this person would govern a large, diverse school district," Brenner said.

Losurdo says she is disappointed with the website and its negative rhetoric and that her posts weren't racially charged.

"There are a lot of issues that we need to talk about, and postings on Facebook, I don't believe, are one of them," she said. "I am sorry if anyone is offended by that. There was no offense made by any means. It was light-hearted humor, and that's all it was," she said.

Comments on illegal immigration, she said, were aimed at policy, not people.

"To paint it in any other way, to say I have any feelings against any race, is ridiculous," she said.

People will try to dismiss each instance if looked at in isolation, Brenner said. But if you look at the pattern of things Lusordo says and promotes, it paints a picture of someone who is divisive and extreme, he said.

Losurdo is running against three other candidates in District 3: incumbent Kevin L. Hill, a Democrat, Eric Wayne Squires, a Republican, and Jennifer Mansfield, who is unaffiliated.

Squires could not be reached for comment Friday. Mansfield and Hill both said they think the race is getting too partisan.

"It is a whole lot more politicized than when I ran in 2007," Hill said. "I wouldn't have known the party affiliations then unless I guessed. It really wasn't an issue then."

Posting the comments, however, makes it fair game, he said.

"What else do people have to drive their opinions about your character and opinions?" he said.

The school board is supposed to be nonpartisan, but both the Republican and Democratic parties of Wake County have been active participants in this year's races, which are on the Oct. 11 ballot.

Others are also making the race political, referencing the highly contentious debate last year about how the Wake school system assigns students and its move away from a longstanding policy of busing students to help keep schools diverse.

The state Board of Elections is investigating an anonymous campaign flier targeting five of the 14 school board candidates who were endorsed by the Wake County Democratic Party.

The flier, which first surfaced at a school board meeting this month, says the candidates, which include Hill, are "liberal allies" of the NAACP – a vocal critic of the district's assignment policy – and urges voters "to keep these five radicals away from our children."

15 Comments

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  • commonsense4 Sep 28, 4:40 p.m.

    57 states argument - really? How lame. He was actually talking about 47 states with one left to go (continental if you didn't know don'tlikethesocialistobama) but instead said 57 accidentally.

    Also, move to a socialist country for awhile and come back and you will never say Obama is socialist again yet you can tell all of your rhetoric comes straight from Fox News and friends, the only news organization that had to change their news programs to opinion programming because you can't get called out on lies or they would be in a lawsuit everyday.

    The ones hating Obama are going to be the ones responsible for the country's downfall, yet they are too oblivious to have any idea. They are a propaganda machine's dream come true.

  • krimson Sep 27, 5:14 p.m.

    If the comments posted by Losurdo backers here are typical of her Supporters, then NO THANK YOU!!!

  • oldrwizr Sep 26, 4:40 p.m.

    Oh, did Obama say 57 states? Oh, well that does it then. I'm voting extreme -- I'm voting Tea Party! Too bad if 3 months of them in office will destroy the country for anybody who isn't a billionaire. Can't have a prez overestimating the number of states! Thank you astute Repugnicans for pointing out this serious flaw!

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Sep 26, 4:31 p.m.

    "Do you seriously believe the president does not know how many states there are? Everyone has a slip from time to time, and considering he is in a high pressure job, I can understand. Have you not ever said something different than what you were thinking? This has notihing to do with his policies, it was a simple slip. I am sure as a responsible parent, you explained this to your child. - Juniper"

    See that Obama speaks almost exclusively from the teleprompter, it's hard to believe that he made a mistake like saying we have 57 states.

    Even 1st and 2nd graders know we have 50 states.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Sep 26, 4:30 p.m.

    I knew Kevin Hill was in trouble when his allies in Democrat support groups starting calling his strongest opponent a tea party extremist and a racist.

    They are playing their last desperate card.

    In my experiences, the biggest racists are the ones who accuse others of being a racists.

  • Remy Sep 26, 3:41 p.m.

    "Don't forget when candidate Obama talked about our 57 states on the campaign trail."
    DontLikeTheSocialistObama

    Do you seriously believe the president does not know how many states there are? Everyone has a slip from time to time, and considering he is in a high pressure job, I can understand. Have you not ever said something different than what you were thinking? This has notihing to do with his policies, it was a simple slip. I am sure as a responsible parent, you explained this to your child.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Sep 26, 3:15 p.m.

    ""People used to respect the President of the US even when they vehemently disagreed with their policies. I never seen such bitter rhetoric over this president." -trutold"

    Don't forget when candidate Obama talked about our 57 states on the campaign trail.

    My fifth grader came home from school last Friday and said I wouldn't vote for President Obama because he's too dumb to know that we have 50 states instead of 57 states.

    She heard this from other kids at school.

    She went on to say if he was too dumb to know how many states we have, it's too dumb to be put in charge of our country.

    Kids seem to understand things better than some adults at times.

  • crazywater Sep 26, 3:05 p.m.

    They must be in trouble if they are trying to tie her to the "extremist Tea Party" ! That's a big plus in my book!

  • mfarmer1 Sep 26, 2:50 p.m.

    Maybe she will balance the board, due to the extremist left members that are on the board now.

  • barbstillkickin Sep 26, 2:29 p.m.

    To Nancy I would like to reply that yes all our Presidents have made mistakes they are human. Yes Bush made mistakes but he stood up like the ones before and said (I MADE A MISTAKE) but not Obama he just goes golfing. If he would have been president when 9/11 happened we would have been in real trouble but thanks to this proud country we live in and a very mad President we took action instead of a few weeks off to golf and think about what to do. I mean let his other associates tell him what would be best for his career.

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