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Heather Losurdo on "majority" of voters rejecting Kevin Hill's opposition to neighborhood schools

Wake County school board candidate Heather Losurdo is putting a positive spin on Tuesday's election results in a press release today.

LOSURDO CONFIDENT IN RUNOFF

Wake County District 3 School Board candidate Heather Losurdo said today she is confident she can defeat incumbent Kevin Hill in the runoff election on November 8.

1318463072 Heather Losurdo on "majority" of voters rejecting Kevin Hill's opposition to neighborhood schools The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Kevin Hill highly unlikely to avoid a runoff

I wouldn't count on Wake County school board member Kevin Hill being able to avoid a runoff.

New figures today from the Wake County Board of Elections show there are 50 provisional ballots and 48 late-arriving absentee ballots still outstanding in the District 3 race. Hill would have to win all 98 ballots and receive some mail-in ballots from military voters by Friday to have a majority to avoid a runoff against Heather Losurdo.

Also today, school board candidate Jennifer Mansfield said she hasn't decided yet whether she'll endorse Losurdo in the runoff. No word yet from Eric Squires.

CORRECTION/CLARIFICATION

Revised wording to show that there are 50 provisional votes and that he'd need additonal batlots from military voters.

Tight schedule for holding a runoff election

The people who wrote the state's election laws apparently didn't think this one through when it comes to November runoffs in non-partisan elections.

Under state law, Wake County school board candidate Heather Losurdo will have until noon Oct. 20 to submit a written request for a runoff against board member Kevin Hill in District 3. But state law also has the Wake County Board of Elections beginning early voting for the runoff election and the Nov.  8 municipal elections at 8:30 a.m. Oct. 20.

Wake elections officials said they'll want a quick response from Losurdo so they can have the ballots printed up by next Thursday.

Progress NC Action says Heather Losurdo should concede to Kevin Hill

Progress NC Action is calling on Wake County school board candidate Heather Losurdo to concede the District 3 race to Kevin Hill.

In a press release tonight, the liberal advocacy group says Losurdo should be "avoiding a costly and divisive runoff election." This is coming from the same group that created a website dubbing Losurdo as the "Queen of Extreme" and trailed after her with a person wearing a skunk costume.

Here's the group's press release:

PPP says Kevin Hill would defeat Heather Losurdo in the runoff election

Public Policy Polling says one of its polls shows that school board member Kevin Hill would defeat Heather Losurdo in a runoff.

In a press release tonight, PPP says they polled 519 people last week about a runoff and Hill had 52 percent to Losurdo's 36 percent. The poll has an error margin of plus or min 4.3 percentage points.

The group says supporters of Jennifer Mansfield and Eric Squires indicated they'd vote for Hill in a runoff.

School board control to hang on District 3 runoff

It looks like ti's all going to hang on the runoff in District 3.

Democrats have won four of the five school board seats, including ousting board chairman Ron Margiotta in District 8. The only race up in the air is District 3, where Kevin Hill just fell short of the total needed to avoid a runoff.

Heather Losurdo said this evening that she will request a runoff on Nov. 8.

Tracking the election results

The early voting, absentee ballot and write-in votes have all five Democratic school board candidates in the lead.

Most of the districts have about 1,000 votes in with the Dems up by 60 percent or more. As previously stated, the Democrats outnumbered the Republicans 2 to 1 in early voting.

It represents 1.6 percent of the turnout in the five districts.

UPDATE

All five Democrats are still leading after 18,356 votes. It's 5.6 percent of the turnout. In the pivotal District 8 battle. Susan Evans has 53 percent of the vote to Ron Margiotta's 47 percent with 3 of 20 precincts reporting.

With the majority of precincts in, Democrats are poised to sweep all five seats. With 21 of 26 precincts in, Kevin Hill is barely holding on to avoid a runoff with 50.2 percent.

Evans has 52 percent with 21 of 26 precincts in.  Keith Sutton has 81 percent with 21 of 26 precincts. Jim Martin has 70 pecent with 11 of 18 precincts in. Christine Kushner has 60 percent with 26 of33 precincts.

With all the precincts in, Hill fell short of a runoff but the other four Democrats have all won.

Common Sense Matters spent more than $50,000 against Heather Losurdo and Ron Margiotta

We now know that Common Sense Matters spent $52,448.90 on campaign mailers attacking Wake County school board candidates Heather Losurdo and Ron Margiotta.

A new campaign finance report filed today shows that the 527 group spent $24,526.44 on various mailers trying to link the two candidates to the Tea Party. This comes after a prior report showed the group had spent $27,922.46 on the initial mailers.

Common Sense Matters has been funded by the N.C. Futures Action Fund, which is led by Dean Debnam and which in turn received funding from the N.C. Association of Educators.

We're still waiting for reports from other groups like N.C. Citizens For Protecting Our Schools and the N.C. Futures Action Fund that could show the extent of the money spent by 501 and 527 groups to indirectly help the Democratic school board candidates.

Bob Geary on whether school board elections will fill a "huge hole" in student assignment plan

Bob Geary is pitching today's Wake County school board elections as "a question of whether Wake will blunder into a set of high-poverty, low-achieving schools ... or avoid that fate."

In an online post today for the liberal Independent weekly, Geary writes that there's a "huge hole" in the new student assignment plan when it comes to promoting equity/diversity. The problem, Geary writes, is that the student achievement pillar is too weak to prevent the creation of high-poverty and low-achieving schools.

"If the Republicans hold or expand their 5-4 majority in today's elections, Tata's plan will continue to have a hole in it, because Republican School Board Chair Ron Margiotta & Co. want that hole to remain," Geary writes.

If, however, Margiotta falls in the District 8 race against challenger Susan Evans, and if that results in a 5-4 majority against the Republicans (meaning that incumbent Kevin Hill survives his challenge in District 3 from Republican Heather Losurdo), then the hole in Tata's plan can be filled by a new board — as Tata, if I understand him correctly, wants it to be filled."

1349297975 Bob Geary on whether school board elections will fill a "huge hole" in student assignment plan The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Civitas Action sends school choice school board campaign mailers

Civitas Action is using the issue of school choice to try to get voters to back Wake County school board candidates Heather Losurdo, Ron Margiotta, and Donna Williams.

In these mailers now hitting mailboxes, the conservative action arm of the Civitas Institute says each of the three GOP candidates "believes parents know best — give them choices."

"Heather Losurdo believes parents know what's best for their children — that is why she support empowering them to make sound education decisions for their families," says the mailer. "Heather wants people to have the option to send their children to neighborhood schools, other choice schools or charter schools because finding the right environment for learning can make all the difference in a child's future."

The mailer then lists a phone number you can call to thank the candidate "for supporting more choices for parents in Wake County." The wording on the mailers is identical. Just swap in the name of the particular candidate for that district.

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