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Cornelius News

Melissa Easley unseats veteran CMS board member

Nov. 9. By Dave Vieser. With two candidates for Charlotte Mecklenburg School Board District 1 splitting the Republican vote, Democrat candidate Melissa Easley won decisively, with incumbent Rhonda Cheek and newcomer Ro Lawsin coming in second and third.

Easley: 18,510

Cheek: 14,542

Lawsin: 10,711

Fountain: 9,447

Fisher: 7,663


Two other independent candidates—Bill Fountain and Hamani Fisher—siphoned off additional votes from Cheek, a Davidson resident and a fixture in the local GOP.


Local Republicans were initially working under the impression that Cheek would not be running for re-election this year due to health issues.

“At the last minute, Cheek entered the race after getting good news from her doctors, but Ro had already signed up to run,” one former elected official said.

Easley, a 14-year veteran teacher, is a public-school advocate and mother of two current CMS students.

Cheek statement

For Cheek, it was a disappointing outcome.

Cheek speaking at a Newsmakers Breakfast

“I am very proud of the campaign I ran, with a positive message and being respectful to my opponents. I am even more proud of all my accomplishments during my time on the board. While I will miss serving the community. I look forward to more time with family, pursuing my other interests and focusing in my nursing career. I wish Ms. Easley all the best in her service to District 1 and have already reached out to her to offer my help during the transition.”