A new campaign mailer from the state Democratic Party urging Wake County voters not "to go back back to the days of separate, but not so equal" is drawing complaints from the Republican candidates for county commissioner.
The mailer urging candidates to vote for the four Democratic candidates for commissioner insinuates that resegregation could occur in the school system if the GOP candidates win. The state Democratic Party has been using the school board's elimination of the diversity policy all year to invigorate its base.
"Wake County is at a crossroads," says the mailer. "Are we going to continue our progressive tradition that all our children matter, or are we going to go back to the days of separate, but not so equal? This year's election of County Commissioners is crucial to the future of Wake County schools."
To the left is a group shot of the four Democratic candidates. On the right are head shots of the four GOP candidates.
On the opposite side of the mailer are the messages "don't let Wake County go backwards" and "send the school board a message and vote Nov. 2nd."
Below that is a multicultural picture of three children standing together and holding up a sign saying "please help."
The ad was paid for by the state Democratic Party. But Wake County Democratic Party Chairman Mack Paul said it was the county party that came up with the wording.
It's this ad that GOP Commissioner Tony Gurley was referring to in his statement Tuesday that also objected to the mailer from Democratic challenger Steve Rao.
Gurley said in the statement that he was "shocked and disappointed" in the Democratic Party mail piece He said this ad had taken a civilized campaign into the gutter.
"My opponent and the Wake County Democratic Party have accused me and my fellow Republican candidates for the Wake County Commission of things that we have no control over when it comes to the public school system," Gurley said. "We do not set policy! The role of the Wake County Commission Is to provide the financial resources necessary to build, maintain and renovate schools so that our children have safe facilities that are conducive to learning."