Burke County School board candidates take part in forum

By Steve Obnesorge - bio l email

MORGANTON, NC (WBTV) - Many residents came out to take part in the election Tuesday to cast votes for two seats on the Morganton city council.

For most, the upcoming school board election in November is generating more of a buzz around town.

"The school board situation overwhelmed us," said city council candidate Scott Powell.  "The interest is a hundredfold what it is for the city council race."

Across Burke County, there are plenty of campaign signs up for the school board race.

Most of them promote two current board members and two newcomers who are running as a block.

The four hope to take control of the board from the majority that is there now.

The current majority is the group that ousted popular superintendant David Burleson.

"I feel confident about this election," said Burke School board chair Tracy Norman.

She hopes people will listen to everyone who is running and "...seek the truth about what has been done by the board."

When asked if she had regrets about the firing of David Burleson, Norman said she would not address that.

"I have no regrets about any decisions I have made on the board," she said.

All of the candidates will have a chance to campaign.  A forum was scheduled for the City of Morganton's Municipal Auditorium.  Candidates would have the opportunity to make a statement and then answer questions from a panel.

Turnout for the November vote is expected to be heavy.  The Board of Elections reports interest in registration and inquiries about the race are higher than anyone at the office can remember. In 2007, less than 15 percent of voters turned out for the school board race.

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