by Bob Geary
The Wake County Republican Party is making no bones about it. As far as they're concerned, it's great if the non-partisan school board elections are partisan. To that end, they've rolled out their "A" team of GOP candidates, capped off by the announcement today that Donna Williams, founding leader of the Northern Wake Republican Club, will run in District 6.
Williams will be pitted against Christine Kushner, whose credentials look pretty darned impressive, in a district that should favor Kushner. A third candidate, George Morgan, is also on the ballot; the incumbent, Carolyn Morrison, is not seeking re-election.
Underlining the point that the schools are now political (if ever they weren't), the Williams campaign quoted Wake School Board Chair Ron Margiotta, "Papa Ron" to his fellow Republicans, as follows:
Wake School Board Chairman Ron Margiotta said he was delighted to learn Williams had decided to make the run. “Donna Williams is one of the most respected and hardest-working leaders on the Wake County political scene,” he said. “She will be a tremendous asset to the Board, and I know she will wage an exceptionally vigorous and issue-oriented campaign. I look forward to serving with her in the years ahead.”
Meanwhile, Wake Republican Party Chair Susan Bryant is out today with her "Elephant Express" newsletter, extolling the virtues of the GOP's slate of school board candidates. In addition to Williams and Margiotta, who is up for re-election in District 8, she lists: Cynthia Matson, District 5; Heather Losurdo, District 3; and in District 4, perennial candidate Venita Peyton stands for office yet again.
By the way, we noted the effort the other day by Wake Democratic Party Chair Mack Paul to point out that Margiotta & Co. are not as supportive of Schools Superintendent Tony Tata as they might lead you to believe.
Au contraire, Bryant replied today. Did Mack Paul "praise" Tata? (He did.) All right, then, Bryant would smootch up all over him:
Tony Tata, our new superintendent and a recent hire by the school board, is hard at work — focused like a laser beam - on the best interests of our children. He is doing a magnificent job re-organizing the school system to better serve the county.
Magnificent, and yet the Republican school board members aren't rushing to embrace his "Blue" plan for student assignments, which is the key thing he's come up with since he started six months ago.
One more thing. It hadn't quite struck me until today that the Northern Wake Republican Club is calling its Aug. 25 gala "Paint the Town Red."
Red, as in Republican.
Red, as in Redmond ...? ... as in Billie Redmond, a Republican candidate for Raleigh mayor this year, but only one of the two Republican candidates for mayor?
Redmond's red campaign signs are popping up — illegally, it must be noted — on every thoroughfare in town, and she's got that "Paint Raleigh Redmond" thing going. She got into the race with Bryant's enthusiastic nod, which seemed to so steam the truly red right-wing of the Republican Party that within days they produced their own Republican candidate, Dr. Randall Williams.
Williams, as in former Mayor Tom Fetzer's protege? Thus far, the announcement that Fetzer is Williams' campaign strategist is about all anyone knows about the good doctor — but he's hosting an ice-cream social tonight at Broughton HS (6-8 p.m. in the gym — I like strawberry, fyi), so we'll hope to learn something more about him then.