Triangle Politics A weekly look at the local political scene

Democrats crow after Wake County school elections

October 11, 2013 

This week’s Wake County school election results are drawing very different reactions from the two major political parties.

Tuesday’s election means eight of the school board’s nine members were backed by the Wake County Democratic Party. The lone Republican wasn’t even endorsed by his own party. Voters also backed an $810 million school construction bond issue that was backed by Wake Democrats and opposed by the Wake County Republican Party.

“With a clean sweep for our Board of Education candidates, we have replaced the last of the tea party devotees on the school board with sensible, reasonable voices,” wrote Wake Democratic Party Chairman Dan Blue III in a message to party members. “By approving the school bond, voters have shown their commitment to public education and good governance.”

N.C. Democratic Party Chairman Randy Voller said the results had statewide significance, calling them “the first referendum on the fringe policies of Gov. McCrory and Republican legislative majorities, who have meddled in local government affairs and turned their backs on public education since coming into power.”

In contrast, Wake GOP Chairwoman Donna Williams said in an email to Republicans she was “thankful” the candidates had run. She added they “are disappointed with the election results.”

Councilman misses meeting

One day after losing his re-election campaign to political newcomer Wayne Maiorano, Raleigh City Councilman Randy Stagner’s chair in the council chambers was empty.

As one of three members of the city council’s comprehensive planning committee, Stagner rarely misses a meeting. But he was absent Wednesday when the committee discussed rezoning issues on Oberlin Road and on Lake Boone Trail; committee chairman Russ Stephenson excused Stagner about halfway through the meeting.

Stagner has not returned calls and emails seeking comment since the election returns Tuesday showed he lost to Maiorano by 187 votes after a hard-fought campaign. On his Facebook page, Stagner mentioned attending a Wednesday evening meeting with Millbrook Estates residents about stormwater issues but makes no mention of the election results, though Stagner did offer $1 for each campaign sign returned to his North Raleigh home.

And according to Maiorano’s campaign, Stagner hadn’t yet reached out to his opponent to concede defeat or offer congratulations.

Stagner’s term runs through early December, when Maiorano will be sworn in as the District A representative.

Political events

• State Rep. Rick Glazier will speak to the Wake Democratic Men’s Club at the Clarion hotel in downtown Raleigh on Monday. Glazier will speak about North Carolina politics, including the lawsuit by the U.S. Justice Department on the Voter Rights Law and the Oct. 8 elections. RSVP to Doors open at 6 p.m., and dinner is served at 6:30 p.m. The program begins at 7 p.m.

• Sherie Samstag, insurance representative of CAPMAR, will speak on “Health Insurance Enrollment Made Easy” at the Wake County Senior Democrats meeting on Wednesday at the Crabtree Marriott Hotel on Glenwood Avenue. A dutch lunch will begin at 11 a.m. with the program following.

• State Rep. David Lewis of Harnett County will speak to the Wake County Republican Women's Club on Thursday at the N.C. State University Club, 4200 Hillsborough St., in Raleigh. Social begins at 11:30 a.m., and the lunch/program begins at 11:45 a.m. Lunch is $19 at the door. Pay by mail, P.O. Box 30454, Raleigh, NC 27622, or online at Make reservations by emailing by Monday.

• Adam Linker, a policy analyst for the Health Access Coalition of the N.C. Justice Center, will provide an update on North Carolina’s implementation of the Affordable Care Act at the October Timely Topics luncheon of the League of Women Voters of Wake County. The meeting will be at the NCSU University Club, 4200 Hillsborough St., in Raleigh on Oct. 25 at noon. Lunch reservations at $16 per person must be made at Reservation deadline: Oct. 21.

Compiled by staff writers Colin Campbell, T. Keung Hui

and Richard Stradling.

Got a tip, item or coming event? Fax Triangle Politics at 919-829-4529, or send email to Send items by noon Thursday.

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service