Wake County school board chairman Ron Margiotta is blaming voter complacency for his election loss while also calling for people to rally around Heather Losurdo in her runoff contest.
In an interview Wednesday with conservative talk show host Bill LuMaye on WPTF, Margiotta said they just weren't able to turn out their voters on Tuesday. He pointed to the efforts by the Wake County Democratic Party to spend $85,000 on get-out-to-vote efforts for the school board races and the money spent by the outside groups such as Common Sense Matters to attack him.
"Our voters were extremely complacent," Margiotta said. "They felt they didn't have to come out because Margiotta was going to win and I think that's what it tended to boil down to. Our voters didn't come out feeling that they were pretty much satisfied with what was going on. "
Margiotta also mentioned how he was still getting "vicious phone calls" from opponents on Tuesday and even Wednesday.
"There's a lot of hatred out there," Margiotta said of the phone calls. "I wouldn't even go into the viciousness of it, calling me racist, telling me to move to an area where only white people live. Horrible stuff."
Margiotta sent out a call to support Losurdo.
"My concern is that we could very soon, if we don't win that runoff for Heather Losurdo up in District 3, we'll be right back to that old diversity policy again that people in this county do not want," Margiotta said. "I don't care what the results of this election are. The election was not based on the diversity policy."
LuMaye, who praised Margiotta throughout the interview, asked if there's anything the outgoing board chairman wish he had changed during the campaign.
"I don't have any regrets," Margiotta responded. "We did as much as we could,"
LuMaye asked if Margiotta would work for Losurdo in the runoff.
"I believe it's important to maintain that five votes on the school board to continue the programs that have been started, and if she chooses to have me help her I would be more than happy to do whatever I possibly do," Margiotta responded.
LuMaye asked Margiotta if he wanted to single out the big achievements that the board majority has made in the last two years. Margiotta said one of them was hiring Tony Tata to be superintendent.
"Hopefully he's not burned by the results of this election," Margiotta said of Tata.
Margiotta said they had done more in the past two years to help low-income students than had been done in the last 10 years "because the busing policy never helped them."