A rainy election day with thin turnout across the city. Slightly over 11% of eligible voters made it to the polls Tuesday to cast their votes for Raleigh’s city elections and four of the Wake County School Board district elections.
The biggest news of the day: the clean sweep by the Republican backed school board candidates who have vowed to end diversity based busing. Chris Malone, Deborah Prickett, and Debra Goldman were all elected by a highly vocal and organized group of parents. John Tedesco defeated incumbent Horace Tart, but may have to have a runoff next month against Cathy Truitt who came in second in November. Truitt is also a neighborhood school supporter. The winning candidates and their supporters believe the existing system of bus based blending decreases the quality of their schools by bringing poorer students to the schools in an effort to have uniform ratios of free and reduced lunch students across the system.
There was also a surprise upset for incumbent Rodger Koopman. John Odom handily won District B with 59% of the votes. Odom has been a city councilor before and ran against Meeker for mayor in 2003.
In the at-large race, both incumbents won, with Mary-Ann Baldwin capturing 35% of the vote and Russ Stephenson capturing 33%. Our pick behind Russ Stephenson, Lee Sartain, received 8% of the vote- a healthy showing for this fresh face- with a heavy set of opposition against him.
As the sole candidate Nancy McFarlane took 100% of the vote in district A. Even unchallenged McFarlane campaigned consistently showing up for candidate forums and fund raising.
It was incumbent James West who won against a challenger by the widest margin, taking 85% of the votes in district C.
Thomas Crowder defeated Ted Van Dyk. Van Dyk had tried to differentiate himself as a cooperative voice and had the backing of real-estate and construction industry. Crowder has been tireless in seeking what is best for his citizens in district D and they showed their support by giving him a crushing 68% of their votes.
Bonner Gaylord also defeated his opponent, Waheed Haq in district E. Mr. Haq had failed to campaign in any significant capacity and after missing candidate forums and lacking any real visible strategy or message, his election was doomed. We are surprised that Haq managed 24% of the vote after what amounted to a camouflaged campaign for potential voters.
Charles Meeker also took the Mayors Seat for a 5th term. The humble, soft spoken leader delivered his acceptance speech at his son’s restaurant tonight, the Busy Bee, talking of restarting the city after the downturn and working for a more environmentally friendly city as a whole.