Donna Williams, a Republican activist and opponent of the old diversity policy, filed today to run for the District 6 seat on the Wake County school board.
Williams is the founding president of the Northern Wake Republican Club, a group that campaigned for and backed the GOP school board majority that took office in December 2009.
Christine Kushner and George W. Morgan, both Democrats, have already filed to run for the District 6 seat.
Williams' candidacy means there will now be at least one Republican and one Democrat running in all five of the school board seats on the Oct. 11 ballot. School board races are officially non-partisan, but both political parties plan to be actively involved in the campaign.
Williams is the second person affiliated with the Northern Wake Republican Club to run for the school board. Williams' successor as the group's president, Heather Losurdo, is seeking the District 3 seat.
Williams has defended the school board majority's elimination of the diversity policy against critics such as the state NAACP who claim the change will lead to resegregation.
At a July 2010 meeting that resulted in the arrests of 22 NAACP protesters, Williams had organized a counterprotest by people who support moving to community schools.
"This has absolutely nothing to do with race, nothing to do with resegregation," Williams told CNN in an interview after the July 20 school board meeting. "It has to do with fixing what is not working,"
Williams had also pointed to how Wake's minority students were graduating at a rate much lower than average under the old diversity policy.
"When people get emotional, they get scared and afraid and believe whatever people are filling in their heads. What we need to do is come together to figure out what is best for our kids," Williams told CNN.
“I want to make sure the policies of the past two years are continued and extended during the coming term,” Williams said in the announcement. “I believe I can work with all the members on the school Board to improve opportunities and academic achievement for all students, as well as operate the Wake County School System more efficiently and cost-effectively."
Williams on the old diversity policy: “I also believe parents should be given the choice of where their child attends school. This will allow the parents to be more active and become an empowered component of the school system, and I am opposed to the busing of children for socioeconomic purposes."
Margiotta's words of support for Williams: “Donna Williams is one of the most respected and hardest-working leaders on the Wake County political scene. She will be a tremendous asset to the Board, and I know she will wage an exceptionally vigorous and issue-oriented campaign. I look forward to serving with her in the years ahead.”
Williams, 56, no longer has school-age chldren. But she says all four of her grown children attended public schools in Wake.