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Plagiarism Scandal Apparently Hurts Cook In Re-Election Bid

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HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. — Tuesday's

Orange County School Board election

had an added twist.

Keith Cook was solidly in last place in his bid for re-election, receiving just 14 percent of the votes of all 17 precincts reporting.

In May, then-Board Chairman Cook was sharply criticized after admitting he plagiarized a graduation speech. He resigned as chairman but kept his seat on the board.

Critics had suggested Cook resign from the board altogether. But he refused. Tuesday, the voters decided Cook will not serve another term.

Four people finished ahead of Cook, led by Liz Brown. Three will be sworn in next month.

"I got into a lot of trouble for that (plagiarism), and it probably cost me the election," Cook said late Tuesday night. "It was an honest mistake.

"The bottom line is, I have been to this community a very good school board member. I feel bad about it (the loss) tonight, but tomorrow, I'll be O.K."

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