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November 2004 Endorsement

NoMerger.org issued a press release endorsing Valerie Foushee for the Orange Board of County Commissioners.

There are two other candidates who are running who oppose merger:

  •  Jamie Daniel, Republican

  •  Artie Franklin, Libertarian


Press Release October 10, 2004

NoMerger.org, the group of 250 families that formed to oppose merger of the two Orange County school districts, has endorsed Valerie Foushee for the Board of County Commissioners.

Several group spokesmen said that Foushee’s depth of experience in government and her receptiveness to public input would make her well-equipped to deal with the myriad issues facing a commissioner.

“Valerie is the sort of candidate we had always hoped would throw her hat into the ring,” said NoMerger steering committee member David Weinberg. “Her experience in the community, in the police department, and on the Chapel Hill school board makes her uniquely qualified.”
Foushee has served on the Chapel Hill school board for six years, and was chairperson of the school board for some of that time.
Weinberg said the NoMerger group also felt that Foushee would display a sensitivity to public comment that has not always been apparent in the merger debate.

“One of the reasons so many of us got involved and formed this group was because we felt the commissioners weren’t listening,” Weinberg said. “Foushee has demonstrated to us that she is not only receptive to public comment, but she genuinely wants to hear it.”
NoMerger steering committee member Mark Peters said he expected the merger issue would continue after the election. “It is obvious from recent commissioner meetings that one incumbent will continue to push for merger,” Peters said. “Valerie Foushee has been clear on her opposition to merger.”

Matthew Barton, also a NoMerger steering committee member, said that there are a number of reasons why the group opposes merging of the school systems, including inevitable busing, and a weakening of the requirements to build schools where they are needed. He added that NoMerger will continue to debunk many of the fallacies that are perpetuated by pro-merger advocates, adding “This discussion should always be based on facts.”

Peters added that Foushee has stated currently opposes merger but she favors increased collaboration between the two school boards and appropriate funding increases for the Orange County system. Foushee stated in a pre-primary debate that she would support a voter-approved countywide supplemental tax.

NoMerger steering committee members emphasized that there were other anti-merger candidates running in November but the group's current endorsement was based on more than the single issue of merger.

“All of our members felt strongly that we didn’t want to endorse a candidate based upon one issue alone,” Weinberg said. “Several people have written to us and said, ‘Why don’t you endorse so-and-so? He’s against merger too.’ The answer is we are looking at the big picture, and we need candidates who have the reach to do that as well.”

NoMerger.org formed a Political Action Committee in May 2004 and raised several thousand dollars in small donations from individuals within the community, which was used for advertising during the primary.  As NoMerger steering committee members have stated all along, the primary election in Orange County has determined the county commissioners for as long as anyone can remember, so the majority of the groups efforts were focused on the primary election, causing one candidate the group did not endorse during the primary to refer to NoMerger.org as the "fifth candidate".

The many citizens involved in NoMerger.Org wish to continue the proud Orange County tradition of local control of excellent public schools, with strong public support for school funding.  To this end NoMerger.org will stay the course, remaining active in the merger debate and advocating for appropriate school funding.


There are two other candidates who are running who oppose merger:

  •  Jamie Daniel, Republican

  •  Artie Franklin, Libertarian

Click Here to see our July Primary Endorsement and Candidate Q&A



The opinions expressed on this site are the opinions and copyright of the individuals who submitted the information.  

Material which is not clearly attributed may be attributed to "a supporter of NoMerger.org".  Copyright 2004, NoMerger.org.