The race for District 3 on the Wake County school board has gotten potentially trickier for those who want to elect a neighborhood schools supporter.
Jennifer Mansfield, a leader of the Wake Schools Community Alliance, announced today that she will seek the District 3 seat now held by board member Kevin Hill. Heather Losurdo, past president of the Northern Wake Republican Club, has already announced her candidacy.
Both women could split the support of those who want to oust Hill, who hasn't formally announced his candidacy but has formed a campaign committee.
If the WSCA does back Mansfield, then the group won't be supporting Losurdo. Mansfield, as an unaffiliated voter, said she was told by the Wake County Republican Party that they won't endorse her over a GOP member.
That's what happened in 2009 when the Wake GOP initially backed Jerry Ballan over Deborah Prickett, who didn't change her affiliation to Republican until after the election.
Presumably, the Wake GOP will back Losurdo. The four GOP board members who attended the Northern Wake Republican Club meeting last month said they backed Losurdo
In her press release, Mansfield says the board has made a good start since 2009 in moving to community schools. But she said "too often our school board has let partisan politics get in the way of doing what’s best for our children."
"Wake County voters have grown tired of school board members bickering, of issues with high school accreditation, and of the politicization of our school system," Mansfield said. "For me, politics are — and should forever be – irrelevant in school board proceedings.
We need to focus on our core mission: providing excellent educational opportunities and building a track-record of increased student achievement. I’ll bring a students-first approach to the school board, and become the voice of the many Wake County parents who want education, not politics in our schools.”
The official filing period starts July 25 so we could have even more candidates. But will having Losurdo and Mansfield in the race make it easier for Hill or some other Democratic Party baked candidates to win or to finish in the top two on Oct. 11 to make it into a Nov. 8 runoff?
Incumbent board member Horace Tart failed to make it into the runoff against John Tedesco in 2009. But in that race there were no Democrats running.
Take this for what it's worth, but Heather Losurdo said she didn't know that the WSCA was still around when we contacted her today for comment. Losurdo said she's also looking forward to a "spirited campaign."
Kevin Hil said that, should he run, having this many candidates in District 3 "will lead to a thorough discussion of the complexities of serving on the school board."