Republicans tie Obama's fortunes to Wake schools race

September 2, 2011 5:50:57 AM PDT
Is there a link between President Obama's reelection chances and Wake County school board races? Some local Republicans say there is. is the latest effort by Republican backers to help Wake County Board of Education Chairman Ron Margiotta get re-elected.

Margiotta is serenaded as a hero on the web site and familiar faces from the GOP are offering their support.

"I think part of the importance is that Obama has chosen North Carolina for the Democratic National Convention and he's frantic," said Susan Bryant, Wake County Republican chair. "They're fearful though because if they lose North Carolina, so goes the election."

Wake County Democratic Party Chair Mack Paul says there's no link between the White House and a local school board election.

"There's no involvement with the Obama campaign with the elections this fall," Paul said.

While Paul says there's no national influence, ABC11 Eyewitness News found an Obama 2012 webpage with a grassroots effort in southern Wake County. The site has information about plans for the "very important school board race" and reminds voters that four seats for minority members are up for grabs.

Click here to see who has filed paperwork with the NC Board of Elections.

ABC11 was told that the page was created by a volunteer and not an official part of the national re-election campaign.

Paul says the Wake school board race is more important nationally in terms of education rather than politics.

"Many people are looking at it as foreshadowing of what might happen in other districts that have pursued similar policies as Wake County," he added.

Both sides agree that when four Republican school board members were elected in 2009, creating a five-member majority, a Republican tide started. That tide led to the historic takeover of the General Assembly.

Republicans are hoping to keep going strong. Democrats say the school board election in October will be there first opportunity to turn things back around in their favor.

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