The fate of Iredell-Statesville Schools may well rest on the outcome of next week’s District 2 primary election.

Voters in Tuesday’s GOP primary will decide if they want to entrust the fate of the district’s 20,000-plus students — and the annual budget of Iredell County’s largest employer — to local Moms for Liberty loyalists.

Laketha Bobish, an officer in the Iredell County Moms for Liberty Chapter, is running in the Republican primary for the District 2 seat against Kevin Angell. The winner will be favored to defeat Democrat Natalie Ramos in the November election.

Aside from Bobish’s affiliation with a group that the Southern Poverty Law Center has classified as an extremist organization, there are also legitimate questions about whether she is actually a resident of District 2.

I-SS officials have received complaints that Bobish recently moved into District 2 — from the Mooresville Graded District — and is living part time in a travel trailer parked in the driveway of a home off Summertree Drive near Troutman. District officials have referred concerned residents to the Iredell County Board of Elections Office.

Elections Director Susie Jordan confirmed this week that the Elections Office received a challenge to Bobish’s candidacy in January, but that challenge was dismissed because it was filed one day after the statutory deadline.

Current board members Mike Kubiniec, Anita Kurn and Brian Sloan, all favorites of the Moms for Liberty, have dragged the I-SS board down into a perpetual state of dysfunction since they joined the board in December of 2022.

For those who haven’t been paying attention to this group’s exploits:

♦ Kubiniec was stripped of his vice chairmanship and censured by the board in 2023. Among his transgressions were bringing a convicted drug offender — his campaign manager — along on school visits. He also faces a misdemeanor stalking charge in connection with a criminal complaint filed by board member Abby Trent.

♦ Kurn has made a name for herself by suggesting unruly Statesville High School students fight in a Thunderdome. Trent’s attorney has also sent Kurn a cease-and-desist letter in response to comments Kurn has directed at Trent.

♦ Sloan, who has no professional training or experience as an educator, created a stir by suggesting that he was qualified to serve as principal at Statesville High. He also suggested the district could make money by selling tickets for fights in Kurn’s Thunderdome.

♦ Kubiniec, Kurn and Sloan are also at the center of an Iredell Free News lawsuit alleging that board members conducted illegal meetings by text message starting in December of 2022 and continuing throughout 2023. Despite being sued and advised by Chairman Bill Howell to halt the practice, a quorum of board members continues to discuss school business privately.

I-SS does not need more of this type of leadership. District students, teachers, administrators and support staff deserve much, much better.

It’s not difficult to imagine what will happen if Bobish is elected as the District 2 representative and Moms for Liberty members gain control of the seven-member board. Kubiniec, who has donated $500 to the Bobish campaign, undoubtedly will be elected board chairman.

Do you think Superintendent Jeff James and other top district officials will stick around for the circus that will follow? What reasonable person would want to work for a board controlled by the Moms for Liberty? What types of applicants will the district get for critical positions? The district’s already strained relationship with the Iredell County Board of Commissioners certainly would not improve under Kubiniec’s special form of leadership.

Fortunately, registered Republicans and unaffiliated voters in District 2 have an opportunity to prevent this nonsense from escalating.

Bobish’s opponent, Kevin Angell, has dedicated his professional life to working to help at-risk children. A former youth pastor, he currently serves as executive director of Children’s Homes of Iredell County. He has clearly stated what his priorities would be if he’s elected. If elected, he will bring dignity and decorum to a board that could use more of both.

If your kids attend Cool Spring Elementary, East Iredell Middle School, Third Creek Middle School or Third Creek Middle School or you live in the areas surrounding these schools, take 15 minutes out of your day to vote. (You can find out if you live in this district and your polling place by using the NC Voter Tool. Here is the link:

If the future of Iredell County is important to you and you live in District 2, there is only one sensible choice in this race: Kevin Angell. More than 20,000 students and 2,000 employees are counting on voters to get it right.

Mike Fuhrman is the editor and publisher of Iredell Free News.

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