Local Politics

Runoff to go on without Wake school board candidate

Posted October 19, 2009

— Cathy Truitt, who earlier called for a runoff in the District 2 race for the Wake County Board of Education, conceded the election Monday to John Tedesco.

The move gives neighborhood-schools advocates a majority on the nine-member school board.

Cathy Truitt, former Wake school board candidate School board candidate concedes race

"If I thought I could win this fight, I would stay in it today. I would fight to the last breath," Truitt said at a news conference. "By withdrawing at this point in time, I'm saying to you clearly what's done is done."

Official results of the Oct. 6 balloting show Tedesco had just under 50 percent of the vote, while Truitt finished with about 24 percent in the five-person race. Incumbent District 2 school board member Horace Tart finished third.

Wake County Board of Elections director Cherie Poucher said Monday that Truitt's name will still appear on the Nov. 3 ballot. The runoff must go on even if a candidate drops out, Poucher said, because ballots have been printed and some absentee and early voting ballots have been cast.

"The main reason we can't cancel it is because we have to follow the state election laws," she said.

The runoff will cost Wake County more than $30,000 in printing and personnel costs, she said.

If Truitt were to win the runoff, the seat would remain vacant, and the school board would appoint someone to fill it.

Tedesco, like the three candidates who won seats in the Oct. 6 election, was endorsed by community groups like WakeCARES and the Wake Schools Community Alliance. That slate said they were willing to change the district's student assignment policies to favor neighborhood schools.

Truitt has said she supports community schools, but also values diversity through magnet schools.

"I cannot save our schools. No one board member can," she said Monday. "It will take you partnering with me and our school board. Being elected is not the answer. It will take all of us voluntarily getting involved because it's not just politics, it's our children."

Chris Malone won the District 1 seat on the school board, while Deborah Pickett won in District 7 and Debra Goldman took District 9.

In the weeks leading up to the election, the traditionally nonpartisan school board elections became a heated referendum on the district's policy in which students are assigned to schools not by geography, but based on socioeconomic factors.

The North Carolina Association of Educators and the business-backed Friends of Diversity argued in favor of the status quo, saying reversing them would hurt the district's future.

Together with school board member Ron Margiotta, the four new board members opposed to the diversity policy will give the neighborhood schools position a majority bloc.


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  • Garnerwolf1 Oct 20, 2009

    time: do you even live in District 2? On blog after blog you've blasted Truitt, and have not said anything specific or relevant about Tedesco, other than the "neighborhood schools' drivel. Not one word about how this is going to happen, what is the plan for magnet schools, YRs that existed before the mandatory came about, etc, etc, etc. He's a pawn for Mangiotti or however you spell it, and parents in another district altogether! I want somebody that's going to work for my kid and my community! If I wanted to be in western Wake I'd darn well move there.

  • injameswetrust2003 Oct 20, 2009

    I have to agree that the minority of the voters made the decision. - chfdcpt

    Check the facts- there is always low turnout for school board elections. Another lame excuse. Too bad that Raleigh Mayor Meeker's wife doesn't have her majority on the school board to bus the Raleigh kids all over the place anymore.

  • SS67 Oct 20, 2009

    Truitt, Truitt, Truitt, Truitt!

  • babyboomer47 Oct 20, 2009

    Ms. Truitt is a selfish woman. She only had 24% of the votes. She decided to be a sore loser and create problems for Tedesco who had 49% of the votes. Ms. Truitt should have to pay for all the expenses she has created for the taxpayers. Please everyone go out to vote for Tedesco.

  • Lerxst Oct 20, 2009

    I have to agree that the minority of the voters made the decision. - chfdcpt

    Just as a minority voted in the previous board. I didn't vote in the previous school board election; boy, was I sorry.

  • time4real Oct 20, 2009

    "I cannot save our schools, she said Monday"

    What an arrogant joke she is! She is clearly trying to back into having her farce self sit on this board. Well it won't work Mrs. Truit. We see through your once again evil plan!

  • injameswetrust2003 Oct 19, 2009

    "We need to learn from Charlotte's mistake..."

    Why must we be compared with Charlotte? Are there no neighorhood school systems in the United States that are successful? Those of you who keep clinging to this rationale need to get over it. The people have spoken. The only question now is, will Del resign or will he be fired?

  • time4real Oct 19, 2009

    you're welcomed!

  • chfdcpt Oct 19, 2009

    I have to agree that the minority of the voters made the decision. Thank you most of the voters, for not being able to care a hoot to vote.

  • Here kitty kitty Oct 19, 2009

    Since she insisted on it originally, can't we make her pay for some of the expenses for this?