Matthews Mayor Pro Tem Paul Bailey, one of three candidates seeking the District 6 school board seat, rolled out a roster of endorsements Tuesday from four state legislators and 15 local officials from the southern suburbs.
Bailey worked with political consultant Larry Shaheen to kick off his campaign with the lineup of support. On his list: State Sens. Jeff Tarte and Bob Rucho (both Republicans); N.C. Reps. Bill Brawley (R) and Tricia Cotham (D); Bill James, a Republican serving his eighth term representing roughly the same district on the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners; Tim Morgan, who was elected to the District 6 school board seat in 2009 and moved into an at-large seat in 2011; Matthews Mayor Jim Taylor and all five members of the Matthews town council; former Matthews Mayor Lee Myers; Mint Hill Mayor Ted Biggers and all four Mint Hill town commissioners.
The announcement jump-starts what has been a fairly low-key school board campaign so far. I don't recall seeing a lineup like this in district school board races, especially coming all at once in the early days of a campaign.
Bailey's two opponents, first-time candidates Bolyn McClung and Doug Wrona, are running very different types of campaigns.
Bolyn McClung, a Pineville Republican, said Monday he has decided not to seek donations or endorsements, though he'll be doing "heavy advertising" with his own money. He said he wants to run on his own record, which includes co-chairing the successful 2007 bond campaign, serving on CMS advisory boards and regularly attending school board and committee meetings.
But after pondering the legislators who are backing Bailey, McClung emailed an additional response: "In these hard economic times, I have decided against actively seeking financial support or personal recommendations for my campaign. My record for public education is long and strong. However, if I were to ask for support, it would not be from those in Raleigh who are responsible for cutting public education."
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