Wake Ed

Candidate conducts Wake County school board run as ‘experiment’

Boundares for Wake County school board District 3 seat adopted by the North Carolina General Assembly in 2013
Boundares for Wake County school board District 3 seat adopted by the North Carolina General Assembly in 2013 Wake County Public School System

James McLuckie is trying to simultaneously get elected to the Wake County school board and conduct his “great experiment” of documenting what it takes to run a local political campaign.

McLuckie, 37 is running for the new District 3 school board seat that covers portion of the City of Oaks. On his “Government Lab” campaign blog, McLuckie says he wants to provide “a 'ride-along' for those who are curious about politics... an overview, from start to finish, of what a political campaign looks like from the perspective of the candidate.”

“The Government Lab is an exercise in transparency,” McLuckie writes on his blog. “I intend to document the process of running for office each step of the way, and to share my experiences with all of you readers while soliciting your feedback.”

McLuckie, who is registered as unaffiliated, describes himself politically as “tend to be conservative on economic issues and liberal on social issues.” McLuckie is running in a Democratic-leaning district, which starts in northeast Raleigh and runs diagonally, hitting parts of east Raleigh and the Five Points area before ending in west Raleigh.

In an interview, McLuckie said his graduation this year from Campbell Law School got his political juices flowing. McLuckie said he decided to run because he’s passionate about education and the school board is officially non-partisan.

McLuckie said he’s postponing taking the bar exam until after the campaign. In the meantime, the law school graduate owns Carolina Personal Services, which works one-on-one or in small groups with students interested in pursuing college credit through the College Level Examination Program.

In terns of a campaign platform, McLuckie said he wants to raise the high school graduation rate and provide more career and vocational training for students who don’t intend to pursue higher education. He also wants to offer comprehensive sex education in middle school and expand funding for early childhood education.

“I am personally of the position that abstinence-only education is anachronistic in the age of Google, and that depriving students of information regarding their sexual health is a grave disservice to them,” McLuckie says in a blog post.

McLuckie doesn’t have any children, which he says means he can provide an unbiased and fresh viewpoint.

The only other candidate who has filed so far in District 3 is former school board member Beverley Clark, who served from 1999 to 2009. But McLuckie said not being a former school board member also would be a benefit.

“I come with a completely fresh view and come with no preconceived notions,” McLuckie said in an interview. “People with association to the school board may come with an eye developed and trained by the school system. For me it’s completely foreign.”

The 2013 redistricting of the Wake County school board election lines by the General Assembly means there’s no incumbent in District 3.