It's probably appropriate that Rita Rakestraw will officially "kick off" her campaign tonight for the school board at a martial arts academy.
Rakestraw's kickoff event will be at 7 p.m. at Black Belt USA, 300 Black Belt World Drive in Knightdale. She's been campaigning since March but tonight's event coincides with the official start of the candidate filing period on Monday.
Starting at 8:30 a.m. Monday and running through noon on July 17, candidates can officially file with the Wake County Board of Elections for the four school board seats on this year's ballot.
Several candidates have said they're going to run or have formed campaign committees. But it doesn't matter unless they file the paperwork later this month.
Here's a breakdown so far of the announced candidates by district:
District 1: Rakestraw, a Knightdale community activist, will be challenged by Chris Malone, a former Wake Forest commissioner, and Debbie Vair, a former PTA president. It's questionable whether Otis Lindsey, who formed a campaign committee, will go ahead and run.
District 2: Incumbent Horace Tart, a developer and builder, is expected to compete against Cathy Truitt, a retired Johnston County educator, and Arnold Osborn, an insurance agent.
Distict 7: Deborah Prickett, character education consultant for the state Department of Public Instruction, is the lone announced candidate.
District 9: Ray Martin, a Chapel Hill teacher, is expected to compete against Lois Nixon, an environmental educator.
Most groups are not making any endorsements until after the end of the filing period. But the Wake Schools Community Alliance has already endorsed Malone and Prickett.