Wednesday, September 18, 2013

South suburban officials line up for Bailey

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.

"Most of these people I have long-term relationships with and have worked with on Matthews town council,"  said Bailey,  who's serving his ninth term.  "I asked and everybody said yes.  It was a surprise to me,  but a pleasant surprise."

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.

Wrona, a former Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools teacher and tutor,  is a self-described progressive Democrat running in a heavily Republican district  (party affiliation isn't on the Nov. 5 ballot,  but we all know it  plays a role).  He couldn't be reached for comment on Bailey's endorsements,  but he has said he won't raise or spend more than $1,000 on his campaign.

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.

When told about the names on Bailey's endorsement list,  McClung replied:  "There's some people on that list that are really great supporters of CMS."

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."

Note:  Please be patient waiting for your comments to post.  I've set it for moderation because I'm off today and don't want to open it to political name-calling.  But I'll have my tablet and post comments as quickly as I can.


Anonymous said...

Bolyn I like your style, attention to detail, and tenacity. Too bad you aren't able to represent District 1.

Anonymous said...

With the current school board configuration it really doesn't matter who Distr 1or 6 elects.

Anonymous said...

Bailey seems to have aligned himself with Morgans boy Shaheen. That should discount his credibility by about 90%. He will win though and another Chamber boy will take the helm in D-6. CMS will lose more interest in that area and charters will prosper.

Anonymous said...

8:33, sad commentary but you are correct. Thus the change in demographics Mecklenburg County and CMS.

Anonymous said...

I agree with 8:10

Anonymous said...

An endorsement from Bill James is considered a good thing?

Anonymous said...

Ir seems "fair" to our local politicians to "pack in" suburbanites into districts 1 and 6 yet they holler if the Republicans in the state redraw the lines.

Anonymous said...

So sad that 5 comments come out for a d6 issue. I sure hope they don't complain when their schools are not supported by the new rep Bailey. Then again with. The Morgan history I guess the new guy may be okay.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 7:19--Editorial board of the Observer also sees nothing wrong with the "packing in" of the suburbs (never has).

Anonymous said...

"In the first place God made idiots. This was for practice. Then He made school boards."

–Mark Twain