April 9,  2008

Board of education candidates to appear at two forums on Hatteras

The candidates for Dare County Board of Education’s District 4 seat -- incumbent Joseph Farrow, Jr. and challenger Anthony Fletcher -- will appear at two forums on Hatteras Island next week.

The first will be on Monday, April 14, at 6 p.m. at the regular monthly meeting of the Cape Hatteras Elementary School PTA.  The meeting will be in the school cafeteria with pizza and soft drinks served at 5:45 and coffee after the meeting.

The two candidates will appear again on Thursday, April 17, at Cape Hatteras Secondary School of Coastal Studies at a League of Women Voters (LWV) forum that begins at 7 p.m. and continues until 9 p.m.

The LWV will sponsor a second forum on Wednesday, April 23, at Nags Head Elementary School, also from 7 until 9 p.m.

The candidates will be given the opportunity for both opening and closing remarks, with the time between allocated for questions from the audience.  In addition, each of the candidates has been requested to reply to a questionnaire sent to them by the LWV, answers to which will comprise a Voter Guide to be published by local newspapers prior to Election Day, May 6.

The LWV has invited all candidates for the Board of Education to participate in its forums, although the non-partisan school board race this year has only one contested seat – in District 4 on Hatteras Island. 

David E. Oaksmith, Jr., whose District 2 spot doesn't expire until 2010, has chosen to relinquish that position and will run unopposed for the District 5 (at-large) seat being vacated by Nick Nuzzi, who is not seeking re-election.  After the new board is seated and a recruitment process has run its course, a selection will be made by board members to appoint a replacement to fill the spot vacated by Oaksmith.  Kill Devil Hills resident Ben Sproul, running for the first time and without opposition, will replace Skip Saunders as a District 2 representative. Saunders decided not to try for another term. District 1 incumbent Tom Maher is not seeking re-election either, and that spot will be filled unopposed by Manteo resident Bea Basnight.  Incumbents Margaret Lawler, District 3, and Dr. Walter Holton, District 1, both of whose terms don't expire until 2010, will round out the reorganized board to take effect July 1.

In view of the total absence of competition in the Dare County Commissioner election, the League of Women Voters has not scheduled any forums nor will a Voter Guide be published to highlight those candidates.  Each of the incumbents whose term expires this year has chosen to seek re-election.  All are running for office unopposed.

Also appearing on the May 6 election ballots is another nonpartisan race -- for two Court of Appeals judge spots, both of which have a contest.  In addition to the nonpartisan listings, ballots for the Democratic and Republican primary election include not only party choices for U.S. President  but also for U.S. Senator, District 3 U.S. Congressman, N.C. Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Auditor, Commissioner of Insurance, Commissioner of Labor, Superintendent of Public Instruction, and Treasurer.  The LWV urges voters to familiarize themselves with the qualifications of each of the candidates seeking to fill those positions so that informed and intelligent choices can be made with every vote cast.

For questions relative to voting procedures, call Dare County Board of Elections at 475-5630, or access that department on the county Web site, www.darenc.com, at which location sample ballots can be viewed and downloaded.

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization dedicated to the encouragement and advancement of citizen involvement in government at all levels, national, state, and local.  For information about membership, which is open to both women and men, call either of the co-presidents, Nancy Birindelli, 261-3915, or Jeannette Anderson, 255-0035.  Much LWV information can also be obtained by accessing the local League's recently initiated Web site, www.lwvdarenc.org.

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