Wake County Schools

Losurdo asks for runoff in unsettled school board race

Posted October 18, 2011

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— One of two candidates still running for a seat on the Wake County Board of Education officially submitted her request Tuesday for a runoff election in a race that will decide if the balance of power on the panel will shift.

Heather Losurdo, a Republican, is running against incumbent Kevin Hill for the board's District 3 seat, which represents north Raleigh.

Hill, a Democrat, won last week's election with 49.69 percent of votes but came up short 51 votes to secure the win.

State law allows a candidate to request a run-off election if the winner doesn't receive at least 50 percent of the votes plus one.

Early voting for the Nov. 8 runoff election starts Thursday. Wake County elections officials estimate that the runoff race will cost an additional $125,000 to $175,000.

Democrats won four of the five seats that were up for grabs last week, including that of Ron Margiotta, who has led the Republican-backed bloc responsible for a number of changes over the past two years, including a controversial move away from the district's longstanding student assignment policy.

To keep the balance of power on the board from shifting, the majority needs Losurdo, a Republican-backed candidate, to win the race.

In conceding the race, Margiotta said he is worried that if the power of the board shifts, the new board might undo the last two years of work, including that to the assignment policy. When it goes into effect for the 2012-13 school year, will place students in schools closer to their homes instead of busing them across the district for diversity purposes.

Hill-Losurdo runoff Losurdo asks for school board runoff

Plans to implement it have been under way for the past seven months, and the school board is expected to vote on it at its meeting Tuesday evening.

"I have advocated and will continue to advocate that parents have a choice to send their kids to a local neighborhood school," Losurdo said before the vote. "Mr. Hill has not done that. He's advocated for forced busing."

"The old diversity busing program is gone," Hill said. "It's water under the bridge. This plan, or some form of this plan, will be the plan we move forward with."

As a former principal and teacher, Hill said he believes experience separates him from his challenger.

"Thirty-five years of working with Wake County kids and parents, I think, gives me an advantage in that area to cast votes on all sorts of topics and issues," he said.

Losurdo said the district needs a good listener.

"Nobody's ever going to agree 100 percent of the time, but as a board member, my seats are open at the table, and I want anyone who wants to pull up a chair to come on and pull up a chair," she said.

110 Comments

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  • forautumn Oct 19, 2011

    "You'd rather prove why you should not be allowed to vote by continuing to vote for someone who has done nothing for your children or anyone else's.

    If the inept are allowed to vote the inept will be elected"

    Silly talk again.

  • Screw WrAl Oct 19, 2011

    "And I look forward to voting for Hill. I don't like the idea of someone with Losurdo's questionable values influencing children."

    You'd rather prove why you should not be allowed to vote by continuing to vote for someone who has done nothing for your children or anyone else's.

    If the inept are allowed to vote the inept will be elected.

  • Screw WrAl Oct 19, 2011

    "Mr. Hill has not done that. He's advocated for forced busing."

    And continues to do so.

  • hpr641 Oct 19, 2011

    History lesson: In 2009, John Tedesco won a seat on the WCBoE with 49.4% (43 votes short of 50+%). Cathy Truitt received just 23.8%, but chose to demand a runoff anyway ... in the runoff, she got 23.1%.

    Quick note on Losurdo's husband and the "tax issue" many want to talk about - you may have noticed he was not employed in his previous position long. There's a reason - seeing the way they did business, he decided to leave as quickly as practical ... even if it meant moving his entire family. The feds were trying to make a case against the company and realized he may be willing to help. So, they came and offered him a deal to a misdemeanor that'll soon be expunged from his record in exchange for him testifying against his former company.

    That help provide a window into what kind of School Board member Heather Losurdo would be?

  • Krimson Oct 19, 2011

    I'd like to point out that the "Neighborhood" school plan is DEAD. Anyone that is still talking about that plan has missed out. The new plan is a "Choice" plan, which allows parents to choose their school (or grandfather into their current school). That means that your child may NOT be assigned to the "neighborhood" school due to the lottery of the assignment process, unless you already attend that school. Some kids will be moved to their second/third/fourth/fifth choice and be bused past their neighborhood school. Also, since there are already issue with over-crowding (Holly Springs), some kids wil be bused past their "neigborhood" school to another. Also, siblings of children already attending a school can also attend that school, so kids from SE Raleigh that are currently being bused to Cary can still continue to be bused to Cary...

    And you thought the old assignment policy created nightmares??? I'm curious how the Board will handle my neighborhood when the 5 families on my

  • ratherbnwpb Oct 19, 2011

    Tax Man, take a look at this website for more...www.queenofextreme.info/

  • ratherbnwpb Oct 19, 2011

    http://www.wral.com/news/education/wake_county_schools/video/10192234/

    Here is one of them Tax Man!

  • Krimson Oct 19, 2011

    Toy Maker: Only residents of District 3 can vote in this run-off.

  • ratherbnwpb Oct 19, 2011

    ratherbnwpb - Hey, how about giving us the links to these stories about Losurdo and her husband? If true we would like to know, but if false you are creating a false image. Thanks.
    Tax Man

    Tax Man, rest assured they are all true. The Losurdo's moved to Wake County from New Jersey 3 years ago. All three accusations I made have all been posted and reported previously on WRAL.com

  • forautumn Oct 19, 2011

    "She said the remarks about Obama were in "poor taste" and that she regretted having made them.

    "It was inappropriate," Losurdo said. "It was a joke. "It has nothing to do with the service that I'll provide to the residents of Wake County."

    yes indeed...a real role model for the children of Wake county...I give you, Heather Losurdo.

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