Local Politics

Some Wake schools voters get to cast second ballot

Posted October 15, 2009 5:48 p.m. EDT
Updated October 19, 2009 9:43 a.m. EDT

Wake County Public School System

— A runoff election on Nov. 3 will decide who gets the District 2 seat on the Wake County Board of Education.

Official results of the Oct. 6 balloting show John Tedesco had just under 50 percent of the vote. His closest opponent, Cathy Truitt, had said she would request a runoff if Tedesco failed to carry a majority.

Tedesco, like the three candidates who won seats in last week’s 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.

The results, certified Thursday by the Wake County Board of Elections, showed Tedesco with 3,255 votes, or 49.36 percent, and Truitt with 1,568.

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 local-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, four new board members opposed to the diversity policy would give the neighborhood schools position a majority on the nine-person board.