Hill takes Wake Co. School Board race

Kevin Hill

November 9, 2011 4:10:19 AM PST
Incumbent Kevin Hill defeated challenger Heather Losurdo in the contentious Wake County School Board District 3 race Tuesday.

Click here for the latest numbers

While officially non-partisan, Hill's victory tips the balance of power on the school board from the Republicans, who have controlled it since the 2009 election, to the Democrats.

Unofficial results showed Hill with 52 percent of the vote to Losurdo's 48.

A tired Hill told ABC11 Tuesday night that the victory showed the voters care about the children.

"I hope what the election means for the school system is that we'll have nine board members that will come together and work as a team, take politics back off the table, and try and make decisions that will be best for all kids in all schools," he said.

The struggle for control of the Wake County School Board has gotten national attention in recent years. When Republicans took control on a platform of doing away with the district's old student assignment policy based on socio-economic diversity - in favor of sending students to schools closer to their homes - groups like the NAACP called it a return to segregation.

A huge amount of money was spent on this year's election by outside groups.

In the District 3 race, Losurdo weathered attacks from the liberal Progress NC Action which called her a Tea Party extremist and questioned the resume posted on her campaign web site.

The question before the Tuesday's election was if Democrats re-took control, would Hill and other the other Democrats on the board seek to undo the new school assignment plan approved by the former Republican majority and possibly fire new Superintendent Tony Tata.

Hill has said no on both counts. He told ABC11 that Tata's job is safe, and he's doing a good job as superintendent.

"I have no reason for him not to stay. I've been on the record. I like Tony. I think he's come in and done a good job under difficult circumstances," Hill said Tuesday night.

In an October interview, Hill said only small tweaks would be made to the assignment plan.

"The old assignment plan is water under the bridge," Hill said. "We have an outline of a new plan to work with and we need to ensure that it works well for all kids. We may need to slow down the process a bit, but the old plan is the old plan, we won't be going back to that."

Following her defeat Tuesday, Losurdo told ABC11 that she still fears the new majority will try to undo parts of the new assignment plan and thinks Tata's job could be threatened.

Meanwhile, Hills' win seems to have the approval of the NAACP chairman.

"Tonight we believe the beginning of change in the power configuration of the school board is a small victory for people of goodwill in the battle to keep pushing forward for the common good," Reverend William Barber said.

Classifieds | Report A Typo |  Send Tip |  Get Alerts | See Click Fix
Follow @abc11 on Twitter  |  Become a fan on Facebook

Load Comments