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School board incumbent files for re-election

And there he is!

With three days to spare, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools board member Greg McElveen filed for re-election today.

McElveen has only been on the board for a year, serving out county commissioner Pam Hemminger's term.

He joins four other candidates vying for three open seats, listed in order of filing:  Michelle Brownstein, Gary Wallach, MaryAnne Gucciardi and J.M. (Joe) Green.

Hughes to challenge Cole-McFadden

Political newcomer Donald Hughes takes the plunge into Durham's city election tomorrow, with a 10:30 a.m. rally on Alston Avenue.

"It's just been in me for as long as I can remember," Hughes told Bull's Eye this afternoon.

Hughes is challenging two-term incumbent Cora Cole-McFadden for the Ward 1 City Council seat.

"I really want to see Durham come together and move for action," he said.

Speculation around town has put Hughes into the city council field for months. A 2005 graduate of Hillside High School and 2009 graduate of UNC-Greensboro, he has made his opinions known at several city council and county commissioners' meetings this year.

"Being a native of Durham and growing up in the community ... I saw the importance of standing up for what you believe," he said.

Hughes is the son of former city councilwoman and former Durham Public Schools board member Jackie Wagstaff, Cole-McFadden defeated Wagstaff's bid for re-election to the council in 2001.

"My mother stressed the importance of giving back to my community at an early age," Hughes said.

UNC prof enters school board race

J.M. (Joe) Green filed for election to the Chapel Hill-Carrboro school board today.

The UNC-Chapel Hill education professor applied last November to fill the Town Council seat left vacant after Bill Thorpe died last September. Jim Merritt was selected instead.

Green is also director of UNC's Upward Bound program, which helps local high school students from underrepresented or low-income groups prepare for college.

By filing, Green seeks to fill one of three open seats on the board. He joins three other contenders: Michelle Brownstein, Gary Wallach and MaryAnne Gucciardi.

One week of filing remains.

Cole-McFadden on the ballot

Mayor Pro Tem Cora Cole-McFadden filed for re-election to her City Council Ward 1 seat this afternoon, giving each office on this fall's municipal ballot at least one official candidate.

Cole-McFadden, who lives in the Old Farm neighborhood of northern Durham, was elected to the council in 2001 and re-elected in 2005.

Third school board candidate files

Okay, so maybe it's starting to get just a little bit crowded.

Self-employed management consultant MaryAnne Gucciardi filed for candidacy today for one of three open seats on the Chapel Hill-Carrboro school board. Gucciardi ran in 2008 to finish out county commissioner Pam Hemminger's term. That seat was filled by Greg McElveen, who is expected to run for re-election.

Gucciardi was the former director of development at UNC's School of Medicine. She is also a Rashkis Elementary parent.

Gucciardi joins Gary Wallach and Michelle Brownstein in the race. There's still a little over a week left to file.

Clement gets second challenge

Long-serving city councilman Howard Clement got a second challenger Wednesday when Sylvester Williams, pastor at the Assembly at Durham Christian Center and a vocal opponent of the East End Connector highway project, filed for the Ward 2 seat in this fall's city election.

Williams joins Libertarian Pary county chairman Matt Drew in opposing Clement, who has served on the city council since 1983.

As of Thursday morning, Ward 3 council member Mike Woodard and Mayor Bill Bell had no opposition for re-election, and no one had filed for the Ward 1 seat currently held by Mayor Pro Tem Cora Cole McFadden.

Candidate runs for school board - again

Gary Wallach is hoping the second time's the charm.

The former teacher filed today for one of three available seats on the Chapel Hill-Carrboro school board. Wallach ran and lost to two incumbents in the 2007 elections.

Wallach's 2007 campaign blog still exists here. There's also a candidate survey he completed back then for the N&O here. There's some detailed information on there about his previous experience and positions. (Fun fact: He was Frank Porter Graham Elementary's school mascot - a lion - for two years.)

Wallach and newcomer Michelle Brownstein are the only two filers so far. Incumbent Greg McElveen did tell us that he planned to run for re-election, however.

Candidate filing began Monday and continues until July 17.

Newcomer enters school board race

At the end of the first day of election filing in Orange, a single name is down to run for one of three open Chapel Hill-Carrboro school board seats - and it belongs to a newcomer.

Parent Michelle "Shell" Brownstein tossed her name in the hat today. She didn't return our calls to chat this afternoon, but a slightly dated website says that Brownstein's a former UNC-trained surgeon with four kids. She served on the parent advocacy committee at Mary Scroggs Elementary and also the NC PTA. She's given several talks in the last year to raise awareness on the appropriate support for kids who are both gifted and disabled.

There are three seats open on the school board as chairwoman Lisa Stuckey and board members Jean Hamilton and Greg McElveen end their four-year terms this year. McElveen told us last week that he planned to run for re-election. Stuckey and Hamilton have both said they do not plan to run.

Election filing continues until July 17 at noon. In other races today:

CHAPEL HILL: Augustus Cho filed to run for mayor. Penny Rich filed for one of four council seats.

CARRBORO: Incumbents Jacquie Gist and Randee Haven-ODonnell and challenger Sammy Slade filed for three aldermen seats.

HILLSBOROUGH: Incumbents Tom Stevens filed for mayor and Mike Gering filed for Town Board.  

School board chairwoman won't seek re-election

Lisa Stuckey, who has served on the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools' board for eight years, will not seek re-election for a third term.

Stuckey shared the news with The News & Observer today, a week before the Orange County Board of Elections begins accepting candidate applications. The seven-member school board will see three vacancies this year, including Stuckey's.

Board members Jean Hamilton and Greg McElveen, whose terms also expire this year, have not yet announced their plans.

Stuckey has been the chairwoman of the board for five years, overseeing the construction and opening of three-year-old Carrboro High. All three of her children have attended Chapel Hill-Carrboro schools.

Stuckey's term ends in December.

UPDATE: McElveen, who has only been on the board for a year serving out county commissioner Pam Hemminger's term, told us this morning he plans to run for re-election. Hamilton confirmed to WCHL last night that she will not be running again.

Over the Oval Office door ...

Here's a few of the many McClatchy cartoons from the week. If you want to see more, check out the roundup at


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