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Mack Paul criticizing Heather Losurdo for requesting runoff election

Wake County Democratic Party Chairman Mack Paul is accusing school board candidate Heather Losurdo of not caring about schools and being guided by her ambition in requesting a runoff against incumbent Kevin Hill.

In a message today to party members, Paul writes about how the $150,000 that could be spent on holding the runoff "represents more than $3,000 per vote that separated Kevin Hill from the outright majority that would have closed the door on the contentious school board conflicts of the last several years."

Paul says that $150,000 "could pay the salary of school employees and teachers who are now being threatened with layoffs due to budget cuts. It could mean the difference between a hard working janitor cleaning the classroom or a teacher having to pull double duty and cleaning after teaching all day."

Heather Losurdo says Tea Party group not holding an event for her

Wake County school board Heather Losurdo says that a local Tea Party group is not hosting an event for her.

Triangle Conservatives Unite! had put on its website an Oct. 30 event at state Republican Party headquarters to help Losurdo. But Losurdo said Triangle Conservatives Unite! had simply cross-posted a pair of volunteer events this week she had listed on her website and that no event is taking place Oct. 30.

Progress NC Action accusing Heather Losurdo of wasting taxpayer money by asking for runoff

Progress NC Action is accusing Wake County school board candidate Heather Losurdo of wasting money and being "blinded by politics and personal ambition" in requesting the runoff election

Here's the liberal advocacy group's press release today:

Losurdo’s Runoff is a Huge Waste of Taxpayers Money

1318987516 Progress NC Action accusing Heather Losurdo of wasting taxpayer money by asking for runoff The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Heather Losurdo requests runoff election

The Nov. 8 runoff election between Wake County school board member Kevin Hill and challenger Heather Losurdo is officially on.

Losurdo filed today with the Wake County Board of Elections this written request for the runoff election. Ballots will now be printed with early voting beginning Thursday morning.

There was no change in the "unofficial totals" from yesterday. Hill was in first with 49.7 percent of the vote, 51 votes shy of the majority. Losurdo was in second with 39.9 percent of the vote.

NAACP calling on Wake school board to postpone student assignment vote

The state NAACP is calling on the Wake County school board to delay Tuesday's vote on the new student assignment plan until at least after next month's runoff election.

In an open letter sent late Monday evening, the Rev. William Barber, president of the state NAACP, argues that the vote shouldn't be held while the results of the school board election and investigations by the U.S. Department of Education and AdvancED are still unknown. The group also argues that last week's public hearing at Broughton High School is insufficient.

"Only one public hearing has been held, and a decision of this magnitude should have more," Barber writes. "The results of the election and two investigations are unknown, and the plan could be changed within a few months, wasting the school system's time and resources."

Kevin Hill won't avoid runoff and Heather Losurdo supports new student assignment plan

It won't be official until tomorrow, but Wake County school board member Kevin Hill did not receive enough votes to avoid a runoff in District 3.

Wake County Board of Elections staff counted the provisional and special absentee ballots today and Hill only picked up 33 more votes, well short of the number needed to avoid a runoff. Heather Losurdo picked up 29 more votes with the results to be certified Tuesday.

In a press release today, Losurdo reiterated her intention to call for a runoff on Nov. 8. Losurdo is also saying in the press release that she support the student assignment plan and opposes any delay in the vote.

SEE UPDATE AT END OF POST FOR NEW ELECTION TOTALS

Local Tea Party group helping Heather Losurdo in runoff election

The Tea Party is standing by Wake County school board candidate Heather Losurdo even as her critics try to use her ties with the populist movement against her.

Triangle Conservatives Unite!, which Tea Party Patriots calls the Raleigh Tea Party, is holding an event on Oct. 30 at the state GOP headquarters to help Losurdo. The group is also cross-posting Losurdo's call for volunteers to attend meetings this week to help organize for the run-off election.

School board candidate Donna Williams, who lost last week, is helping coordinate Losurdo's volunteer efforts.

Various Democratic-leaning 501 and 527 groups sent mailers and set up a website attacking Losurdo for her connections to the Tea Party. You've also got that Public Policy Polling memo indicating that Republicans can be vulnerable to Tea Party attacks.

UPDATE

See this blog post where Losurdo says Triangle Conservaties Unite! is not holding an event for her.

John Tedesco raising concerns with the choice plan

Do supporters of neighborhood schools have more to fear about the new student assignment plan than supporters of the old diversity policy?

As noted in today's article, school board vice chairman John Tedesco said he's not sure now that he'll vote for the assignment plan on Tuesday. Based on the election results and how Democratic candidates and their supporters are talking about setting up student achievement controls, Tedesco said he's worried that the choice plan could result in busing for test scores.

"The plan is better than what we have now,” Tedesco said of what will be voted on Tuesday. “But if the people who are in charge of the controls change then you could have busing for diversity like you’ve never seen.”

Ron Margiotta on why he lost his re-election bid

Wake County school board chairman Ron Margiotta is blaming voter complacency for his election loss while also calling for people to rally around Heather Losurdo in her runoff contest.

In an interview Wednesday with conservative talk show host Bill LuMaye on WPTF, Margiotta said they just weren't able to turn out their voters on Tuesday. He pointed to the efforts by the Wake County Democratic Party to spend $85,000 on get-out-to-vote efforts for the school board races and the money spent by the outside groups such as Common Sense Matters to attack him.

"Our voters were extremely complacent," Margiotta said. "They felt they didn't have to come out because Margiotta was going to win and I think that's what it tended to boil down to. Our voters didn't come out feeling that they were pretty much satisfied with what was going on. "

Democrats questioning whether a runoff should be held in District 3

Look for a battle over the next month to influence voters in Wake County's school board District 3 runoff election.

But as noted in today's article, you've got some questions in the meantime. One, should Heather Losurdo ask for a runoff? Two, would it have made a difference if the Wake County Republican Party had backed Jennifer Mansfield instead of Losurdo to run against Kevin Hill?

On the first question, it's not a surprise that Democrats say they'd hope Losurdo would refrain from asking for the runoff.

CORRECTION

The high-end estimate for a runoff is $150,000.

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