LaVance concedes school board race

Staff WriterOctober 15, 2007 

— Wake school board candidate Martha LaVance has announced she will concede the District 3 race to Kevin Hill.

LaVance had finished second last week with 30 percent of the vote, based on unofficial totals, to Hill, who got 46 percent. LaVance said that to save the public the cost of another election, she won't request a Nov. 6 runoff.

LaVance had planned to ask for the runoff but changed her mind after Raleigh City Councilwoman Jessie Taliaferro decided not request a runoff in her District B council race. A runoff would have meant reopening all the polls just for the school board's District 3, which includes much of Northeast Raleigh up to the county's northern border.

"I have decided it is not in the best interests of the taxpayers or students of Wake County to request a runoff in the District 3 school board race," LaVance said in a written statement. "... I offer to Kevin Hill my sincere congratulations and wish him the best of luck as the District 3 representative."

LaVance's decision closes out this year's school board election season. Although five of the nine board seats were on the ballot, three races were uncontested.

Incumbents Rosa Gill and Ron Margiotta ran unopposed. Anne McLaurin, a doctor at SAS Institute and the wife of Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker, ran unopposed for the seat vacated by Susan Parry.

In the other contested race, incumbent Beverley Clark picked up 64 percent of the vote, avoiding a runoff for the District 6 seat.

Critics of policies such as the move to year-round schools failed to pick up a single new seat on the board. The board now faces issues such as student reassignment, the future of year-round schools, the district's diversity policy and the timing of the next construction bond issue.

LaVance, 51, a non-practicing lawyer and longtime school volunteer, had campaigned on the need to elect a parent instead of an administrator like Hill. A similar argument was made by Alfreda Wilson, 42, who finished third last week with 23 percent.

Despite the differences in approach, LaVance and Hill agreed on many issues.

Hill, 53, is a retired principal who worked in the Wake school system for 28 years. He will replace Carol Parker, who chose not to seek a second term.

keung.hui@newsobserver.com or (919) 829-4534

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