Raleigh, N.C. — Cathy Truitt, who earlier called for a runoff in the District 2 race for the Wake County Board of Education, was expected to concede the election Monday to John Tedesco.
The move gives neighborhood-schools advocates a majority on the nine-member school board.
Political consultant Brad Crone, who helped handle Truitt’s campaign, said Truitt would announce at a 10:30 a.m. news conference that she was dropping out of the race and would no longer seek a Nov. 3 runoff against Tedesco.
Official results of the Oct. 6 balloting show Tedesco had just under 50 percent of the vote, while Truitt finished with about 24 percent in the five-person race. Incumbent District 2 school board member Horace Tart finished third.
Tedesco, like the three candidates who won seats in the Oct. 6 election, was endorsed by community groups like WakeCARES and the Wake Schools Community Alliance. That slate said they were willing to change the district’s student assignment policies to favor neighborhood schools.
Truitt has said she supports community schools, but also values diversity through magnet schools.
Chris Malone won the District 1 seat on the school board, while Deborah Pickett won in District 7 and Debra Goldman took District 9.
In the weeks leading up to the election, the traditionally nonpartisan school board elections became a heated referendum on the district’s policy in which students are assigned to schools not by geography, but based on socioeconomic factors.
The North Carolina Association of Educators and the business-backed Friends of Diversity argued in favor of the status quo, saying reversing them would hurt the district’s future.
Together with school board member Ron Margiotta, the four new board members opposed to the diversity policy will give the neighborhood schools position a majority bloc.