Wake County Schools

14 file to run for Wake County school board

Posted August 12, 2011 1:43 p.m. EDT
Updated August 12, 2011 1:53 p.m. EDT

— Fourteen people will compete this fall for five seats on the Wake County Board of Education.

The two-week filing period for the race ended Friday afternoon with three incumbents, including board Chairman Ron Margiotta, and 11 others signing up for the race.

The election is Oct. 11, and a run-off election, if it's needed, is scheduled for Nov. 8.

Margiotta, who represents southern Wake County, leads the school board's current majority, which would need to win at least one of the five open seats to remain in power.

He faces Susan Evans for the District 8 race.

Incumbent Kevin Hill, who represents north Raleigh, will face three other candidates – Heather Losurdo, Jennifer Mansfield and Eric Squires – for the District 3 race.

And Keith Sutton, who was appointed in 2009 to fill a vacant seat in District 4, east Raleigh, faces his first election against Venita Peyton.

Jim Martin and Cynthia Matson filed to run in south-central Raleigh for the District 5 seat currently held by Dr. Anne McLaurin. McLaurin said in June that she would not run again.

Also not running is Carolyn Morrison, who holds the District 6 Central Raleigh school board seat. There are four candidates in that race: Christine Kushner, George Morgan, Mary Ann Weathers and Donna Williams.

Although school board seats are supposed to be nonpartisan, Wake County's political parties are heavily involved in the race. Both the Republican and Democratic parties in Wake County have already come out in support of some candidates.

Last year, the Republican-controlled majority voted out the school system's decade-old policy of busing students to help achieve socio-economic diversity.

That paved the way for a new student assignment policy that keeps students closer to home and sparked protests, arrests and a change in the school system’s superintendent.

The candidates will face off next month in a series of forums sponsored by WakeUp Wake and the League of Women Voters of Wake County.