Can Wake school board candidates overcome a shoestring budget to still win?
Vair and Lucas, who are both still actively campaigning, are running against opponents who are not under similar funding constraints.
Vair said she's trying to cope with the funding disparity by word of mouth, the Internet and face-to-face contact with voters. It would be against the odds for her to win.
For at least the past decade, and likely longer than that, no candidate who has spent less than $3,000 has defeated a person who spent more than $3,000.
This doesn't mean that the candidate who spends the most wins.
Just look at 1997, when Bob Luddy raised a record $79,500 in an unsuccessful run for the District 1 seat. But even then, Kathryn Quigg raised about $9,300 to win.
What helped Quigg was that there was shock that Luddy, a conservative critic of the school district, had gotten a plurality of the vote. School district supporters rallied behind Quigg in the runoff to help her win.
You could see a similar rallying behind Rakestraw this year should there be a runoff between her and Malone or Vair.
Candidates need a certain amount of money to get their names out in the public, especially when they usually don't have much name recognition among voters.