Wake Ed

Mark Ivey suspends Wake County school board run, endorses rival

Wake County school board candidate Mark Ivey with his wife Ginny and two young children. Ivey has suspended his campaign.
Wake County school board candidate Mark Ivey with his wife Ginny and two young children. Ivey has suspended his campaign. Courtesy of Mark Ivey

Wake County school board candidate Mark Ivey has suspended his campaign for the District 2 seat and has endorsed Peter Hochstaetter in his bid to unseat board Vice Chairwoman Monika Johnson-Hostler.

Ivey said he decided to suspend his campaign to improve the chances of a Republican winning the District 2 seat, which includes Garner, Fuquay-Varina and part of Southeast Raleigh, School board races are non-partisan, but the Republican and Democratic parties have endorsed candidates.

In District 2, the Wake County Republican Party has endorsed Hochstaetter and the Wake County Democratic Party has endorsed Johnson-Hostler.

“We both agreed it would be a better time for him (Hochstaetter) to run and both of us running could not put up an effective fight against Monika,” Ivey said Monday.

Ivey said he’s in the process of closing down his campaign. But Ivey’s name will still appear on the Nov. 8 ballot.

Ivey had initially filed to run against incumbent school board member Bill Fletcher for one of the new at-large seats created by the General Assembly. But the federal courts declared the new school board maps unconstitutional and ordered that the old lines be used this fall.

“We felt like we really had a strong chance, but then the redistricting came at a bad time,” Ivey said.

When the filing period reopened in August, Hochstaetter, Johnson-Hostler and Ivey all filed for District 2. But Ivey later met with Hochstaetter and agreed to back him instead.

“I fully endorse Peter and fully support him,” Ivey said. “I’ve offered to help.”

Now Ivey said he plans to write a paper on how social media is misused in political campaigns. Ivey, 30, is a full-time communication pre-law degree student at Campbell University,

The General Assembly is expected to come up with new Wake school board election maps when it reconvenes next year. The next round of Wake school board elections could come as 2018, but Ivey said it’s too soon to say if he’ll run then.

Voters have a chance to learn more about the candidates for Districts 1, 2 and 4 at a forum Thursday at 7 p.m. at Knightdale Town Hall, 950 Steeple Square Court, Knightdale.

Organizers say that Johnson-Hostler has agreed to attend, but Hochstaetter won’t appear due to a scheduling conflict.