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Election 2017: Wilmington City Council, Part 1

L to R: Charlie Rivenbark, Clifford Barnett, Kevin O'Grady

In the race for Wilmington’s City Council, there are nine people competing for three open seats that carry four-year terms. Earl Sheridan, who has served for three terms and is wrapping up his twelfth year, has chosen not to run again. Two incumbents are seeking re-election. Charlie Rivenbark is completing his fourth term and Kevin O'Grady his second. Clifford Barnett, pastor of the Warner Temple AME Zion Church in Wilmington, is running for the first time.

Clifford Barnett says if he’s elected, one of his priorities would be jobs.

“I’m interested in job training resources for local workers. I’m interested in getting employers to love our city, visit our city, come and say we want to employ some of the folks that are here in our city.”

Kevin O’Grady says his strength on the council is being a straight shooter.

“That’s me. You know what you’re going to get if you vote for me. And I think people appreciate that, I think that’s part of the reason. Because I know there are people who come up and say ‘I disagree with you on this, but I’m going to vote for you anyway’. They are not one-issue voters.”

For Charlie Rivenbark, the big issue is short-term rentals.  

“We need to move forward with this whole-house rentals, short-term rentals, and come up with a plan and put it out there for the folks and if it’s not right and if it needs to be tweaked, we can do that and we will do that.”

The election is November 7.  

To listen to the full CoastLine Candidate Interview edition featuring Wilmington’s City Council candidates, listen here on WHQR.ORG.