Truitt officially withdraws

November 16, 2009 7:42:40 AM PST
A Wake County school board candidate has officially withdrawn from a runoff in a Garner district, but it's a move has left the Wake Board of Elections with a dilemma it's never faced before.Candidate Cathy Truitt initially told the board of elections she wanted a runoff with John Tedesco. But this week, Truitt changed her mind - conceding the race to Tedesco.

But even though Wednesday morning she came to turn in a letter saying so, it may be too late to save tax dollars.

Click here to read the letter (.pdf)

The Wake Board of Elections will hold an emergency meeting to see if there's time to stop the election.

"It's something that has never happened before during my tenure," said Wake Elections Director Cherie Poucher.

Poucher estimates the run-off will cost taxpayers about $30,000.

Truitt hopes by pulling out of the race at least some of that money will not be spent.

"Save as many of those 30,000 tax dollars as you can and whatever you cannot save because of printed ballots, I would like to know the remaining amount and I will donate my time, in kind," she said.

Because of early voting, those run-off ballots with Truitt's name on them were printed two days after the general election.

But there still may be some money to be saved at the polls, so the Wake board will meet on Friday to talk about this issue - which is not addressed in state election laws. The board will likely consult with state elections board to see what they are allowed to do.

"We will save money if the state board says you don't have to go forward, etc," said Poucher.

Should the State Board of Elections rule that it's too late to call the election in favor of John Tedesco - then he will have to mobilize his supporters on November 3. Because, if Truitt were to win after pulling out - then the current Wake board would be able to appoint a candidate and take away the majority the new board members plan to use to change the school system.

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