Another Wake County school board candidate is, for all intents and purposes, dropping out of the race.
Chris Augustine, a candidate in the District 2 field, issued a statement today in which he announces he's going to stop actively campaigning but his name will remain on the Oct. 6 ballot. He cites the difficult budget cuts facing the school district and his belief his ideas won't be heard.
Two other candidates, Ray Martin and Jerry Ballan, also dropped out. But they did so early enough that their names won't be on the ballot. The ballots are in the process of being printed.
In Augustine's case, his bid was a long shot. The Libertarian business owner and parent didn't have the backing of any of the major groups.
Augustine's departure means only four active candidates will be left in District 2. There's Carlene Lucas, a community volunteer; Horace Tart, the incumbent and a builder/developer; John Tedesco, vice president for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Triangle; and Cathy Truitt, a retired educator.
Augustine said he's pulling out strictly for personal reasons and not because of any outside lobbying. He said he's not endorsing any of the other candidates.
Here's Augustine's statement:
"The task to implement the cuts imposed by the State will be onerous to whoever is elected to the Wake County Board of Education district #2. Even to a person with an MBA like me, he or she would have to be insane to want this herculean task, especially this year. The position has no revenue authority but it has mandates from the County, the State and the Federal government to cut costs in a draconian fashion. I can only imagine what will be cut: foreign languages, art, and/or music. The sizes of classes will undoubtedly be increased and programs for the gifted as well as challenged will be sliced. And I wouldn't be surprised if magnet schools were cut. I for one would have liked to have questioned some of the Federal unfunded mandates. I would have liked to have increased competition between the schools by allowing parents to choose their own schools. And I would have liked to have fought to get the social policy agendas out of our school system. But alas any new ideas will probably be drown out by the upcoming pain. My name will remain on the ballot, but I am not going to actively campaign. I wish the best for whoever wins; they will surely need it."