There's been a fair amount of debate over the slogan used by the three incumbents seeking re-election to the school board -- one that notes that they'd bring a continuation of the current practices and what they see as improvements within the school system.
Some parents have debated that, arguing that what they perceive as an increasingly testing-centric model to measuring achievement is wrong... though given that Judge Manning emphasized yesterday that that's exactly what he wants to see in his oversight of the Leandro case's impact on local school systems, we should expect too much straying from that course.
Nor from the current direction of the school board, which saw Omega Curtis-Parker (47%) withstand a tight race against Donald Hughes (41%) for the District 1B seat, while Fredrick Davis handily bested Regina Stanley-King.
Steve Martin, who faced the greatest count of challengers, seems likely to face a run-off with Natalie Beyer during the already-planned June runoff race for US Senate between Elaine Marshall and Cal Cunningham, assuming Beyer chooses to request a run-off. (Durham/Chapel Hill attorney Ken Lewis was eliminated in yesterday's race.)
Meanwhile, Nancy Cox -- who lost out to Leigh Bordley and Jonathan Alston in '08 -- made it to the board this time around, cruising to a big win (77%) in the District 3B seat.
Turnout was all over the veritable map, with an average 12.8% turnout masking real variances in turnout in different precincts.
West Durham progressive-heavy districts with polling sites like NCSSM, EK Powe, Brogden, the Ag Building and Forest Hills turned in some of the highest turnout rates, often 20%+. North Durham turnout rates were also significantly above average at many precincts.
But while White Rock and the IR Holmes Center saw relatively comparable turnout percentages, by and large some of the Durham Committee's typically impactful districts saw turnout that was a third to half those levels. So too were more rural precincts to the county's east and south -- though turnout in Bahama was strong.
For example: Glenn Elementary managed just over 10% turnout this time around, versus almost 49% in 2008 when the presidential race was at stake.
By contrast, NCSSM turnout drop-off -- 62% to 24% -- was much smaller, relatively speaking.
In other races, Doretta Walker and Freda Black are headed to the general election for one District Court judgeship this fall, with Steven Storch and a close-third Kerry Sutton trailing. Pat Evans was dominant in her District Court race, with 51% of the vote to second-place finisher Brian Aus' 25%.
Worth Hill handily beat Tony Butler in the primary for Durham County Sheriff.
And while Fred Foster, Jr.'s 63%-32% Durham County besting of Winkie Wilkins in the state house primary would seem impressive, Wilkins' strong showing in his Person County home (where he garnered 72% of the vote, for an overall 60% take) meant that he'll move along to the general election this fall.
B.J. Lawson, meanwhile, will get a second chance at longtime Congressman David Price; one must wonder whether Lawson's campaign platform, which includes a desire to close the Federal Reserve Bank and opposition to the notion of climate change (per the Herald-Sun), will fare better in 2010's political environment than it did in 2008.