North Carolina's Wake County School Board has had a 5-4 Republican majority since low-turnout races in 2009 unseated some Democrats. Republican Ron Margiotta was then named chairman and he has not skipped a beat in terms of undoing decades of progress. One of Ron Margiotta's main perrogatives since taking office has been to reverse public school integration policies, a nefarious plan which was approved by a 5-4 margin two months ago (on a party line vote). One of the organizations pushing this was none other than the Koch Brothers themselves. Naturally, Chairman Margiotta became a big target for Democrats. He also happened to be up for re-election today in his Republican-leaning 8th district. And, in a surprising upset, he lost 48-52 to Democrat Susan Evans.
More below the fold.
In today's election, there was a healthy turnout of 17 percent. These school board races became the most costly in county history, with about $385,000 being raised by the 14 candidates. Four Democratic-held seats and one Republican-held seat (Margiotta's) were up in this election. Three of those Democrats won solid majorities and one is going to a runoff on November 8th. In the Republican-held District 8 (Southern Wake), Democratic challenger Susan Evans defeated the regressive Chairman in a stunning upset, making a Democratic majority on the Wake County School Board very likely. The one deciding race will be in District 3, where Democratic incumbent Kevin Hill is going to a runoff against his Republican opponent on November 8th (he got 49.7% and she got a little less than 40%). Congratulations to the good people of Wake County for turning out and throwing out the Chairman who was determined to turn back the clock on equality and fairness! However, they can't rest on their laurels now. Kevin Hill in District 3 (North Raleigh) needs to win next month in order to secure a Dem majority on the school board. Then, they can finally begin to undo the damage done by Margiotta and company.
6:59 PM PT: PPP poll is out:
Democrat Kevin Hill leads Republican challenger Heather Losurdo in a runoff matchup 52-36. Losurdo's favorables are down to 36/43 while Hill's are at a fairly strong 48/30.
7:51 PM PT: Here is a useful interactive map of Wake County's School Board districts. Click on a district to see what it covers: