Look for a battle over the next month to influence voters in Wake County's school board District 3 runoff election.
But as noted in today's article, you've got some questions in the meantime. One, should Heather Losurdo ask for a runoff? Two, would it have made a difference if the Wake County Republican Party had backed Jennifer Mansfield instead of Losurdo to run against Kevin Hill?
On the first question, it's not a surprise that Democrats say they'd hope Losurdo would refrain from asking for the runoff.
Based on how close Hill came to winning and the outcome of the other four races, Wake County Democratic Party Chairman Mack Paul said Losurdo shouldn’t ask for the runoff. He also cited the division it would generate in the community and the expense of holding a runoff.
”She ought to respect that the public is tired of the divisiveness,” Paul said.
Cherie Poucher, director of the Wake County Board of Elections, said it could cost between $130,000 and $150,000 to hold the runoff. In addition to printing the ballots, the county would also have to pay to staff more than 20 polling places that would normally be closed on Nov. 8.
Poucher said the fact that there won't be any municipal races in the area covered by District 3 means they can't ask any of the towns to help with the costs of the runoff.
The cost was one reason that Martha LaVance didn't request a runoff in 2007 against Hill, who still hasn't gotten a majority of the vote in both election bids.
Paul insists he'd urge that they not hold the runoff even if Losurdo was in first and doing so would leave the Republicans in the majority. Hill said he wouldn't request a runoff if he was in Losurdo's position.
Paul and Hill say they recognize and respect that Losurdo has the legal right to request the runoff.
On the hindsight question, Mansfield said she believes that Hill would have lost Tuesday if the GOP had endorsed her.
“I could have beaten Hill if they had been willing to support me,” Mansfield said of the Wake GOP. “But they wanted to play partisan politics.”
Mansfield says she drew voters away from both Hill and Losurdo. She said she would have gotten more if not for the mistaken impression from people that there wouldn't be a runoff.
Mansfield said that if she had not run, which some Losurdo supporters had urged, Hill would have won outright on Tuesday.
Mansfield said she doesn't want Hill to win because she believes it will lead to the return of some form of the socioeconomic diversity policy. But she wasn't, at least on Wednesday, ready to endorse Losurdo.
Mansfield said that even if she endorsed Losurdo she doesn't know if her voters would go for her in the runoff. She said a number of her voters won't support Losurdo because of her partisanship.
The high-end estimate for a runoff is $150,000.