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Jennifer Mansfield goes after Kevin Hill at candidate forum

The fireworks from Wednesday's Wake County school board candidate forum in District 3 came from Jennifer Mansfield.

As noted in today's article, Mansfield went after incumbent board member Kevin Hill on several occasions. Hill, Heather Losurdo and Eric Squires didn't criticize other candidates during the forum.

“He’s stonewalled and been very obstructionist in trying to get any positive changes made in the system,” Mansfield said of Hill.

District 3 candidate forum tonight

Tonight's Wake County school board District 3 candidate forum should be a lively one.

Incumbent Kevin Hill and challengers Heather Losurdo and Jennifer Mansfield have all confirmed they'll attend. Eric Squires has indicated he'll try to attend.

The forum starts at 7 p.m. at Church of the Nativity, 8849 Ray Road in Raleigh. It's sponsored by WakeUP Wake County and the League of Women Voters of Wake County.

For those who can't attend, you might want to see if WRAL will stream the forum live online.

Heather Losurdo holds large fundraising lead in District 3 race

Wake County school board member Kevin Hill and challenger Jennifer Mansfield lag far behind Heather Losurdo in the amount of cash raised so far in District.

The new report filed today by Hill shows he had raised $15,245 as of Aug. 30 with $12,123.69 at hand. Mansfield's new report has her with $3,582.19 raised as of Aug. 30 with $1,826.86 on hand.

Well out in front financially is Losurdo, who's raised $30,529.55 as of Aug. 30 with $11,801.85 on hand.

Heather Losurdo has raised more than $30,000

Wake County school board candidate Heather Losurdo has raised more than $30,000 in her bid to win the District 3 seat.

The new campaign finance report filed today shows that Losurdo had raised $30,529.55 as of Aug. 30 with $11,801.85 on hand. No updated reports are in yet for school board member Kevin Hill or challenger Jennifer Mansfield. Eric Squires doesn't have to file one because he's spending less than $1,000.

Losurdo's biggest donors in the new report are the $4,000 apiece from Art Pope, Katherine Pope and Bob Luddy.

Jennifer Mansfield urges school board to stop work on student assignment proceedings

Wake County school board candidate Jennifer Mansfield is urging the school board to halt work on the new choice-based student assignment plan being developed by staff.

In a press release today, Mansfield said she's issued an open letter to the school board asking them to "begin looking for an alternative assignment model that addresses the needs and desires of Wake County residents." She says it's "clear that this plan will not be ready for implementation in a few months as planned."

"After the never ending controversy and upheaval we experienced with previous assignment policy, it should be clear to you that any new assignment plan must have transparency to be successful," Mansfield says in the press release. "Under this controlled choice model, parents may not get their first, second or even third choice in this plan and they will never know why.”

Campaign finance reports and candidate forums this week

The campaigns for the Wake County school board races should heat up this week.

As noted in today's article, you've got two fairly significant events over the next five days. You'll have the release of updated campaign finance reports and the first of the five candidate forums sponsored by WakeUP Wake County and the League of Women Voters of Wake County.

All school board candidates who intend to raise more than $1,000 and any groups expecting to spend money on the school board races must file a 35-day pre-election report. This report, which must be postmarked no later than Tuesday, will show how much has been raised through Aug. 30.

UPDATE

Inserted the words pre-election to make the wording more clear.

Striving for 100 percent Algebra I placement

The message coming from Thursday's Wake County school board economically disadvantaged student performance task force meeting is to accept nothing less than 100 percent placement of qualified middle school students in Algebra I.

As noted in today's article, staff said that 85.2 percent of eighth graders projected by EVAAS to be ready to take Algebra I have already been placed for the 2011-12 school year, up from 61.1 percent last year.

Central Office will work with the middle schools to get that placement rate as close as they can to 100 percent before traditional-calendar schools start next week.

Wake GOP announces school board and municipal candidate endorsements

The Wake County Republican Party has announced its endorsements for this fall's school board and municipal elections.

As expected, the press release sent today shows that the GOP-endorsed school board candidates are Heather Losurdo in District 3, Venita Peyton in District 4, Cynthia Matson in District 5, Donna Williams in District 6 and Ron Margiotta in District 8. This makes official the split in the opposition to Kevin Hill in District 3 with the Wake Schools Community Alliance having backed Jennifer Mansfield.

“The Wake County Republican Party is pleased to present these well qualified candidates on our endorsed slate," said Wake GOP Chairwoman Susan Bryant in the press release. "The process of recruiting and endorsing took over a year, with hard work from a strong recruitment committee. I am pleased with the final endorsements by the Wake County GOP Executive Board.

The Party is unified around this slate and we are looking forward to helping them achieve victory in the upcoming municipal elections this fall!"

Eric Wayne Squires files to run for school board

The filing period has now ended with Eric Wayne Squires being the last person to file today to run for a seat on the Wake County school board.

Squires, a registered Republican, is seeking the District 3 seat. This means he'll run against fellow Republican Heather Losurdo, Democratic incumbent Kevin Hill and Jennifer Mansfield, who is an unaffiliated voter.

UPDATE

The field is now set.

Aside from District 3, you've got Democratic incumbent Keith Sutton running against Republican challenger Venita Peyton in District 4.

In District 5, you've got Democrat Jim Martin against Republican Cynthia Matson.

In District 6, you've got Democrats Christine Kushner, George Morgan and Mary Ann Weathers against Republican Donna Williams.

In District 8,  you've got Republican incumbent Ron Margiotta against Democrat Susan Evans.

In case you're wondering, I'm hoping to talk with Squires on Monday.

Jennifer Mansfield raffling off week at beach house

A donation of at least $50 could get you a week at Wake County school board candidate Jennifer Mansfield's beach house in Emerald Isle.

For every $50 a person donates through Aug. 30, you will receive an entry in a raffle to win a week of your choice at Mansfield's "fabulous Rancho Relaxo." Mansfield said she started the raffle as a way to encourage donors to increase their contributions.

The raffle is legal under campaign finance law, something that Mansfield said she confirmed first with the State Board of Elections.

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