New Hanover County’s Board of Education has four Republican incumbents seeking new terms; three of them have served for more than two decades. Three Republican challengers brought the primary candidate total to seven.
Don Hayes and current Board Chair Ed Higgins have been on the School Board since 1994; Janice Cavenaugh for more than 25 years beginning in 1987 – although not serving consecutive terms. Bruce Shell, also a Republican incumbent, is seeking his second term. But primary results edged out Chairman Higgins – giving newcomer and top vote-getter Bill Rivenbark a shot in November.
"There are some things that need to happen that haven’t happened, like long-term planning, which leads into redistricting. If we had done a better job of that over the past 20 or 25 years, we wouldn’t have that problem right now. And then there’s the situation with the state, local, and federal legislators. We don’t have a really, really, really good relationship with them, and that’s where we get all our money."
Rivenbark joins Shell, Cavenaugh, and Hayes in a battle against four Democrats: Judy Justice, Nelson Beaulieu, Stephanie Adams, and Elena Rosemond-Hoerr.