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Looking at the District 6 school board race

Of all the Wake County school board races, the District 6 contest has arguably been the most civil among the main candidates.

As noted in today's article by Thomas Goldsmith, Christine Kushner and Donna Williams disagree on several issues. But they've so far avoided going negative on each even as they make their cases.

The tone has been far rougher in the other races, especially during this final week of the campaign.

Mary Ann Weathers warning that Wake could become "an apartheid school system"

Wake County school board candidate Mary Ann Weathers is warning about the risks of becoming "an apartheid school system" and accusing the school board majority of lying to the public.

In an interview Monday on The Rick & Donna Martinez Show on WPTF, Weathers accused the Republican board majority of listening to special interests while saying education wasn't harmed when the Democrats were in the majority. She also used the harsh imagery of apartheid, the former system of legal racial segregation used in South Africa.

"We are 51 percent minority student population so the minority students have become the majority and we are at risk of becoming an apartheid school system if we don't take action now because there are groups that would neglect those students," Weathers said. "The bottom line is that if we don't take care of educating those students now we may wind up with an increasing prison population or an increasing welfare population."

Donna Williams to attend tonight's candidate forum

It will be a two-sided debate at tonight's Wake County District 6 school board candidate forum.

Donna Williams said she's juggled her schedule so that she can attend the forum sponsored by WakeUP Wake County and the League of Women Voters of Wake County. Previously, only Christine Kushner and Mary Ann Weathers, both critics of the school board majority, were slated to attend.

The forum, which is open to the public, starts at 7 p.m. at Hudson Memorial Presbyterian Church, 4921 Six Forks Road in Raleigh.

UPDATE

George Morgan has now also confirmed he will attend.

Christine Kushner and Donna Williams raise nearly $70,000 combined

The District 6 race for the Wake County school board is looking like it could be the most expensive of all the races this fall.

The new campaign report filed today by Christine Kushner shows she has raised $41,565.83 as of Aug. 30 with $33,256.54. The new report filed today by Donna Williams shows she has raised $27,806.83 as of Aug. 30 with $22,634.43 on hand.

The biggest donor in Kushners' new report is the Democratic Women of Wake County, which gave $1,100. She also received small donations from former school board members John Gilbert, Lori Millberg, Tom Oxholm and Susan Parry.

Bob Geary on how partisan Democratic school board candidates should be

Bob Geary is analyzing how partisan the Democratic candidates for Wake County school board should get in this fall's elections.

In an article in the latest issue of the liberal Independent weekly, Geary contends that the Democratic candidates "have little choice" but to turn to the Party for help to counter the Republican Party's efforts in the school board races. But he says it's also causing the Democratic candidates to tread a fine line.

"The Democratic candidates face the same critical question of style: Can a Democrat win with a message of nonpartisanship, the complexity of the issues and 'good governance?'" Geary writes. "Or is the case that in a low-turnout election like a school board race, you can't beat a hard-hitting Republican who turns out the GOP's base vote unless you're a hard-hitting Democrat who turns out the Democratic base vote?"

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.

Susan Evans and Christine Kushner promote Wake NCAE endorsement

Wake County school board candidates Susan Evans and Christine Kushner have both released statements today trumpeting the endorsements they've received from Wake NCAE.

In Evans' press release, she says she's "proud to have earned the endorsement of the Wake NCAE, a group that truly has the best interests of students and teachers at heart." The group represents nearly 5,000 Wake school employees.

In Evans' press release, Wake NCAE Vice President Larry Nilles also takes a shot at the school board majority to explain the endorsement.

Wake NCAE announces school board candidate endorsements

Wake NCAE, which represents 5,000 Wake County's school employees, is citing school funding in announcing its reasons for its school board candidate endorsements.

In a press release today, Wake NCAE announced it was endorsing Kevin Hill in District 3, Keith Sutton in District 4, Jim Martin in District 5, Christine Kushner in District 6 and Susan Evans in District 8.

In the release, Wake NCAE faulted the current school board majority for not having backed a motion to ask county commissioners for enough funding "that could have prevented" cuts this year such as laying off custodians and cutting pay for teacher assistants.

Wake Democrats announce school board and municipal candidate endorsements

Both political parties have now officially weighed in with their endorsements for this fall's Wake County school board and municipal elections.

As expected, the Wake County Democratic Party announced Tuesday that it was endorsing Kevin Hill in District 3, Keith Sutton in District 4, Jim Martin in District 5, Christine Kushner in District 6 and Susan Evans in District 8.

In the announcement, the Democrats accused the Republican school board majority of having "made a number of empty promises to voters (in 2009) that they have not met."

Mary Ann Weathers files to run for school board

Mary Ann Weathers filed today to run for the District 6 seat on the Wake County school board.

I don't at the moment have much info on Weathers, aside from the fact that she's a registered Democrat. The now four-person race includes Republican Donna Williams and two other Democrats, Christine Kushner and George W. Morgan.

The filing period ends at noon.

SEE UPDATE AT ENO OF POST FOR INTERVIEW WITH WEATHERS

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