Wake County Schools

Wake school board races finally set

Posted August 17

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— With less than three months until Election Day, the races for the Wake County Board of Education are finally set.

A special candidate filing period that the county had to open because of a court-ordered change in voting districts closed at noon Wednesday, with 18 people running for nine seats.

Board members Jim Martin, Christine Kushner and Zora Felton are running unopposed in Districts 5, 6 and 7, respectively. Roxie Cash, who served on the school board in the 1990s, is unopposed in District 3, where board member Kevin Hill isn't seeking re-election.

Chairman Tom Benton faces three opponents in District 1: Donald Agee, Mary Beth Ainsworth and Sheila Ellis. District 2 board member Monika Johnson-Hostler will face Peter Hochstaetter and Mark Ivey, while incumbent Keith Sutton squares off against Heather Elliot in District 4.

Gary Lewis, Lindsay Mahaffey and Gil Pagan are vying for the open District 8 seat after Susan Evans decided to run for state Senate. District 9 board member Bill Fletcher will face Michael Tanbusch.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last month ruled the voting districts state lawmakers drew in 2013 to be unconstitutional. Lawmakers shifted two of the nine districts into regional districts – one representing the urban core of the county and the other the rural and suburban outer ring – but the court said there were too many voters in the urban regional district and too few in the other one, violating the one-person, one-vote guarantees in the U.S. and state constitutions.

A federal judge ordered the county to use the voting districts the school board creates in 2011 after the most recent census for the November election and ordered state lawmakers to rework their plan when they reconvene next year.

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  • Byrd Ferguson Aug 17, 9:33 p.m.
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    So ends the disappointing, embarrassing end to Susan Evan's political career, grabbing the microphone away from a fellow board member, and whatnot.