Will Wake County school board candidate Heather Losurdo be able to turn things around today thanks to the help of some outside political advice she picked up after the runoff?
After Losurdo only picked up 40 percent of the vote on Oct. 11, the campaign reached out to Jack Hawke to be a consultant for the runoff. Hawke is a longtime figure in state politics, having been the former chairman of the state Republican Party, a former president of the conservative Civitas Institute and a consultant to presumptive GOP gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory.
"I knew we had to change things," Hawke said. "She was 10 points down (as of Oct. 11). I'm proud of what she's done but we had a lot of ground to make up."
Hawke said doing things differently in the runoff meant warning voters about the impact that a Kevin Hill victory could have on things like the new student assignment plan and the future of Superintendent Tony Tata.
Hawke said it also meant reminding voters that the school system faced turmoil from before when the new majority took over, such as the fights under Hill's tenure about mandatory year-round schools, reassignment and Wacky Wednesdays.
"It showed how we got to where we are and how we can move forward," Hawke said.
Hawke says this retooled approach was making headway with voters or else the outside groups like Progress NC Action and Common Sense Matters wouldn't have brought up things like Losurdo's personal bankruptcy, work at the Crescent City Cabaret and questioned her employment at First Union.
"I think we've given a great campaign," Hawke said. "You can tell we're having an impact when they go out and make personal attacks.
Does this means Hawke is predicting Losurdo will win today? He said they'll give Hill a good fight, at the very least.
"Did we make up that 10 points?" Hawke said. "I don't know."