Voters favor Dems in all Wake schools races

October 12, 2011 3:23:59 AM PDT
The winds of change that blew through the Wake County School Board in 2009 seemed to be blowing the other way Tuesday.

Democrats who called themselves supporters of Wake's discarded diversity policy were ahead in all five of the seats up for grabs in Tuesday's election.

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Perhaps the most stunning defeat was incumbent Republican School Board Chairman Ron Margiotta, who lost 52 to 48 percent in District 8 to challenger Susan P. Evans.

"Quite frankly, we are going back two years to busing for diversity, and that hasn't helped anyone," Margiotta said.

Margiotta was one of the architects of the plan to do away with Wake County's socio-economic diversity policy in favor of sending students to schools closer to their homes.

The plan to scrap the policy drew national attention and even attracted the ridicule of comedian Stephen Colbert.

"I talked to a lot of folks in Ron's district and they said Ron's got this, he never loses," Wake School Board John Tedesco said. "And now they know they made a mistake. But they have one shot left."

Only Kevin Hill, who garnered 48.7 percent of the vote in District 3 faces a possible runoff. If Hill wins, then the Democrats would re-take the majority on the board.

Hill's challenger, Heather Losurdo, got 40 percent of the vote. She said Tuesday night she would seek a runoff election in November.

"You know, the most important thing is it's going to look like a board with good governance," Wake School Board-Elect Susan Evans said. "You're going to see professionalism return to the board, you're going to see good decision making based on collaboration between board members and our community deserves that."

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