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Talking about what the new Wake County school board may be like

What will things be like for the new Wake County school board that has seven registered Democrats, an unaffiliated member who used to be a Democrat and a registered Republican called a RINO by some critics?

As noted in Saturday’s article, members of the new board and their supporters say the partisan fighting will end and the board will be able to focus on student achievement instead. But critics say they worry the new board could become just like the pre-2009 board and ignore dissenting opinions.

School board Chairman Keith Sutton said you can’t assume the new board, which takes office in December, will be in lock step on everything.

Friends of Wake County reporting more than $280,000 in donations to promote school bonds

The Friends of Wake County have now reported raising more than $280,000 in their efforts to get the $810 million Wake County school bond issue passed.

The latest report shows that the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce donated an additional $20,500 on Monday as part of the final push for Election Day. This increases the Chamber’s contributions to $83,000 of the $281,590.34 reported so far by Friends of Wake.

The Friends of Wake had reported raising $232,240.34 as of Sept. 23. Since then, the group has filed several 48-hour notice reports listing $49,350 in donations collected since then.

We’re still waiting for a report from the Wake County Taxpayers Association on how much that group has spent fighting the bonds. At Monday’s press conference, WCTA Chairman Ed Jones said they’ve had far less money than FOWC as they’ve relied on dues from the group’s members for their campaign efforts.

Bill Fletcher has fundraising lead in Wake County school board contest

Wake County school member Bill Fletcher has a fundraising lead over challenger Nancy Caggia in the District 9 contest.

According to Fletcher’s latest campaign finance report, he reported raising $18,960 and spending $13,790.18 through Sept. 23. According to Caggia’s latest campaign finance report, she reported raising $10,687.27 and spending $3,123.99.

Fletcher’s biggest donors in the latest report were the $1,000 from Ann Campbell and the $1,000 from retired real-estate agent Kim Carlton. Fletcher is the only Republican school board candidate to have gotten a donation from Campbell since she started giving money in the 2011 school board elections.

Zora Felton has big fundraising lead in Wake County school board contest

Wake County school candidate Zora Felton has well over a two-to-one fundraising lead over incumbent school board member Deborah Prickett in the District 7 contest.

According to Felton’s latest campaign finance report, she reported raising $19,840.02 and spending $17,920.89 through Sept. 23. According to Prickett’s latest campaign finance report, she reported raising $7,346.66 and spending $5,187.93.

Felton’s biggest donor in the latest report was the $4,000 from the Wake Citizens For Good Government.

Monika Johnson-Hostler has big fundraising lead in Wake County school board contest

Wake County school candidate Monika Johnson-Hostler has well over a two-to-one fundraising lead over competitor Matt Scruggs in the District 2 contest.

According to Johnson-Hostler’s latest campaign finance report, she reported raising $18,225 and spending $11,441.80 through Sept. 23. According to Scruggs’ latest campaign finance report, he reported raising $7,660 and spending $4,576.20.

Tom Benton has big fundraising lead in Wake County school board contest

Wake County school board member Tom Benton has well over a two-to-one fundraising lead over challenger Don McIntyre in the District 1 contest.

According to Benton’s latest campaign finance report, he reported raising $19,666.72 and spending $12,079.25 through Sept. 23. According to McIntyre’s latest campaign finance report, he reported raising $7,833 and spending $7,257.07.

Benton’s biggest donors in the latest report were $2,000 from the Wake Citizens for Good Government, $1,000 from former National Education Association executive director John Wilson and $1,000 from Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane.

Democrats hold campaign cash edge for Wake County school board races

The Democratic candidates for Wake County school board are winning the fundraising battle, but will they also win the election battle on Tuesday?

As noted in today’s article, the latest campaign finance reports show that the three Democratic candidates all have at least double the amounts of their Republican opponents. School board member Bill Fletcher, whose views are more in line with the current Democratic board majority than the prior Republican one, is leading in the race involving two registered Republicans.

One interesting tidbit in the new reports is that Ann Campbell crossed party lines to give $1,000 to Fletcher’s campaign. Campbell, as in 2011, is the largest individual donor in this campaign cycle. She’s given $10,000, with $9,000 going to the three Democratic candidates.

I’ll do individual posts on the reports in each race.

Design and construction leaders on financial benefits of Wake County school bonds

Amid all the usual words about doing it for the children, leaders in North Carolina's design and construction community are acknowledging there's also a financial reason for why they want the Wake County school bond issue to be passed.

In a letter to the editor written by the heads of four design and construction associations, they write about the money and new jobs that would come from the projects in the school bonds. Opponents of the bond issue have charged that the donations from the construction industry to the Friends of Wake County's pro-bond campaign are a case of the "special interests" wanting the public's money.

"While the educational and financial parameters have been debated in forums, TV shows, newspaper op-ed pieces and online for the last few months, one issue often overlooked in the discussion is the greater benefit the bond program will have for our struggling economy," according to the letter to the editor.

Friends of Wake County leader gets tough reaction from Republican women's group

Phil Zachary, co-chairman of the Friends of Wake County, did not find a friendly audience Thursday when he spoke at a meeting of the Republican Women of Cary and Southwestern Wake.

As noted in today’s article, Zachary found himself dealing with shouts of “no,” interruptions and people talking over him as he made his pitch for the bonds while bond opponents were applauded. Zachary probably shouldn’t have started his remarks by talking about trusting the school board.

“Can we trust this school board to spend this money wisely?” Zachary said, drawing loud, repeated no responses from the crowd.

Wake Citizens For Good Government helping Democratic school board candidates

The Wake Citizens For Good Government PAC is back and giving money to help the Democratic candidates for Wake County school board and the Wake County Democratic Party.

Campaign finance reports show that the group had raised, as of Sept. 23, $18,520.82 and spent $16,854.54. The PAC gave $6,000 to the Wake County Democratic Party, $4,000 to school board candidate Monika Johnson-Hostler, $4,000 to school board candidate Zora Felton and $2,000 to school board member Tom Benton.

The donors read off as a list of Democratic activists and members of the Great Schools in Wake Coalition.

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