On this edition of the CoastLine Candidate Interviews, we meet the two people hoping to be the next mayor of the City of Southport. We also meet one candidate running for Southport’s Board of Aldermen in Ward 1; Karen Mosteller is also the only incumbent seeking re-election in that Ward. The other person with an expiring term, Mary Ellen Poole, is not running again.
The small seaside city of Southport in Brunswick County, which calls itself the “Home of Salubrious Breezes”, is divided into two wards – each represented by three people to make up a six-member board. The Mayor of the City of Southport serves a two-year term. Aldermen serve four-year terms which are staggered.
225-year-old Southport spans less than four square miles and sits near the confluence of the Cape Fear River and the Atlantic Ocean in Brunswick County. It was voted America’s Happiest Seaside Town by Coastal Living in 2015. In 2010, the City boasted a population of slightly more than 28-hundred. Today, the Census Bureau estimates that about 36-hundred people call Southport home.
Segment 1: Karen Mosteller - Southport Board of Aldermen
Karen Mosteller has owned her Southport home since the late 1990s. Before joining the Board of Aldermen, she served on the Planning Board for Southport. According to her campaign website, she grew up in Greensboro. She is currently the Architectural Review Coordinator for Bald Head Association – the largest homeowners’ association on Bald Head Island – which is also in Brunswick County. Before that, she says she owned a small business and worked as a realtor.
Segment 2: Joe Pat Hatem - Southport Mayoral Candidate
Joseph Hatem, also known as Joe Pat Hatem, is a native of Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina and a medical doctor who practices at Southport’s Dosher Memorial Hospital. It was thirty years ago, he says, that he started moonlighting in Dosher’s Emergency Room while doing his residency at New Hanover Regional Medical Center.
Segment 3: Jerry Dove - Southport Mayoral Candidate (Incumbent)
In 2015, the last municipal election year in North Carolina, Jerry Dove ran against Joe Pat Hatem. Jerry Dove won the seat by 79 votes or a difference of about 7%.
Mayor Jerry Dove is completing his first term and is seeking a second. Before serving as Southport’s Mayor, he spent twelve years as Chief of Police in Southport. That is in addition to his nine years as an officer, shift supervisor, and K-9 handler. He worked as a Master Trooper with the North Carolina State Highway Patrol for 26 years. He has served in the U.S. Army Reserve and the United States Air Force. In 2007, Jerry Dove was awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine.