Democrats regained control of the Wake County school board Tuesday, with Kevin Hill (D) defeating Heather Losurdo (R) 52 percent to 48 percent in a runoff election.
More than 20,000 voters cast ballots — 29 percent of the voters in District 3. In the October election, when voters also decided on city council and mayoral candidates, about 16,500 District 3 voters went to the polls.
The runoff was the culmination of a heavily contested October election in which four Democrats won school board seats outright.
“I’m exhausted,” Hill said at his victory party. “I only slept about three hours last night.”
Voters were not only choosing a candidate, but choosing a direction for Wake County School assignment. Outside groups spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to influence the elections and the Losurdo and Hill campaigns raised more than $100,000 combined.
Luther Snyder of the Losurdo campaign said their volunteers did everything they could to get Losurdo elected.
“It just wasn’t meant to be. It just wasn’t in the cards for us this round,” he said.
Hill’s victory party was attended by many Democratic Party leaders, including the state and county chairs of the Democratic Party, Rep. Brad Miller, current and former Wake County Commissioners and all of the Democratic board members-elect on the school board.
In his speech to supporters, Hill said his goal is to bring non-partisanship back to the school board.
“It’s time now to come together for the children of Wake County,” Hill said.
However, with powerful political interests outside of Wake County vying for control of the school board, as they have over the past two years, it remains to be seen if things will ever go back to the way they were.