Local Politics

Tedesco: Vote one more time

Posted October 29, 2009 2:37 p.m. EDT
Updated October 29, 2009 5:14 p.m. EDT

— The race is not over.

That's the message from John Tedesco, a candidate running for the District 2 seat on the Wake County Board of Education.

"There's a lot of people who think the election is over," he said Thursday at a news conference in which he was endorsed by Garner Mayor Ronnie Williams and Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison. "You have to vote. You need to vote one more time"

Tedesco got 49 percent of the vote in the Oct. 6 election but needed to receive a majority to avoid a second election.

Contender Cathy Truitt, who received 24 percent of the vote, asked for a runoff election, then later rescinded her request when she dropped out of the race.

The state Board of Elections, however, decided 4-1 on Wednesday, that the runoff should continue. Voters will make the decision Nov. 3.

"We're not taking anything lightly. We've been knocking on doors all week and we will be knocking on doors until Tuesday morning," Tedesco said.

If Tedesco does not win, the seat will remain vacant and the school board will then be able to appoint someone to the position.

At stake in the race is the school system's student assignment policy that promotes socioeconomic diversity, where students are bussed to schools across the county to achieve a balanced makeup of students.

Tedesco and three other school board candidates have indicated they would be willing to change the policy in favor of neighborhood schools. One other sitting member of the board also supports a change.

Tedesco would give that faction a majority position on the nine-member board.

"We have a 4-4 board waiting on a tie-breaker," Tedesco said. "I think we know they would appoint somebody who would try to maintain the current policy against the will of Wake County voters who spoke loudly on Oct. 6."

Tedesco said Truitt agreed with him on the issue and that nearly 75 percent of voters in the district want to move away from the busing policy.

"We don't want that vote suppressed, and we don't want the will of those voters to be thwarted," he said.