New Hanover County Board of Commission
A pool of ten
Republican candidates vying for two open seats on the county commission was
pared down to two after the primary election.
Thomas Wolfe and Brian Berger did not pursue reelection for their seats.
Skip Watkins and
Dr. Derrick Hickey established leads early in the night.
his lead to name recognition from a nearly successful campaign for Wilmington
City Council in 2013.
“That’s why I
was asked by several people to run,” Watkins said. “When Commissioner [Thomas]
Wolfe said he wasn’t going to run, he approached me…because we did so well in
our race against incumbents.”
that Hickey also enjoys name recognition from serving on the school board.
2010 election to the school board, Hickey held a seat on the New Hanover County
Parks and Recreation Board from 2006 to 2012.
unsuccessfully to snatch an open seat on the board of commission in 2012. He
came in only 1,208 votes short.
placed Dr. Chuck Kays, plastic surgeon at Wilmington Plastic Surgery, in a
close third place with 23 percent of the vote compared to Hickey’s 24 percent.
Kays served on
the New Hanover County Airport Authority Board for eight years, with two years
as chairman. In 2012, he acted as president of the 65th annual N.C.
campaign for county commission was his first run for public office.
Watkins and Hickey have more name recognition from previous runs, which he said
was a benefit to them but not responsible for their lead.
Kays doubted he
would run for office again.
“I’ll have to
sit down and think about it a little bit,” Kays said.
Zapple and Patricia Spear automatically advanced to the general election.
New Hanover County Board of Education
members Don Hayes, Ed Higgins and Janice Cavenaugh will proceed to the general
election, flanked by retired county manager Bruce Shell.
Hayes said Shell
could be a good fit for the board.
“Over the years
when he was county manager, of course he worked very closely with us on
previous budgets. I think Bruce would make a nice addition,” Hayes said.
continued focus on his duties as school board chair coming into the general
election, notably the upcoming bond referendum slated for the Nov. ballot.
“I’m a firm
believer in you do what you think is right. That’s it. If that doesn’t please
the majority then you shouldn’t be [in office],” Hayes said.
retired plant manager and Cape Fear Public Utility Authority Board member, did
not advance to the general election.
winners will face Democrats Emma Saunders, Chris Meek and Tom Gale for four
open seats in November.
Stay tuned for
the full story in the May 8 issue of Lumina News.