In a blog post today for the liberal Independent weekly, Geary writes that "Evans' announcement fills a hole for Wake County residents who think the Republican school board majority, led by Margiotta, has harmed rather than helped a very school system since four GOP-backed candidates swept into office following the 2009 elections."
"Margiotta was and continues to be an outspoken proponent of neighborhood schools — for the middle-class neighborhoods of Apex and western Wake County especially," Geary writes. "The fact that poor neighborhoods in East Raleigh and eastern Wake County would be left holding the bag with their "neighborhood schools" has not seemed to concern Margiotta all that much."
Geary says the races in District 8 and District 3 will provide "the real fireworks this year." As for District 3, Geary complains that attorney Kieran Shanahan's redistricting "handiwork only adds to the district's Republican tilt" against incumbent board member Kevin Hill.
"Hill is a popular former principal and teacher who is now on the faculty at N.C. State," Geary writes. "Running against him is a formidable Republican challenger, Heather Losurdo, as well as the unaffiliated Jennifer Mansfield, a critic of past school boards who apparently doesn't want to see the seat go Republican either."
"Should Hill win and Evans unseat Margiotta, however, and assuming Sutton, Martin and Kushner also win, control of the board would shift to members who are, I would say, more likely to back Superintendent Tony Tata's push for a middle-ground on student assignments — a pro-diversity AND pro-neighborhoods compromise," Geary writes.