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CoastLine Candidate Interviews: Wrightsville Beach (Dull), Kure Beach (Coe), and Poli-Sci


New Hanover County is made up of four municipalities:  the City of Wilmington, three beach towns, and some unincorporated areas.  Wrightsville Beach is one of those three beach towns – governed by a Mayor and Board of Aldermen.  The population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, is slightly more than 2500.  About 98% of the population is white with a median household income of more than $64,000.   Mayor Bill Blair was scheduled to appear on this edition of CoastLine but dropped out a few days earlier due to a business conflict.  He first ran for mayor in 2011 – challenging then-incumbent David Cignotti.  He lost by a 62% margin.  Two years later, he ran again – unopposed – and garnered 98% of the vote.  In 2015, he again had no challenger and took 95% of the vote. 

He has no challenger this year. 

The Board of Aldermen in Wrightsville Beach has five candidates vying for two open seats.  Only one of the incumbents with an expiring term is running for re-election.  On this edition, we meet Ken Dull – one of those five candidates. 

We also meet a candidate for Town Council in Kure Beach where six people are seeking a seat.  Mayor Emilie Swearingen is running again – but not for mayor.  She’s seeking a post as a Council member. 

Current Councilman Craig Blozinsky is running again, seeking that mayoral seat, and is facing challenger Chris Hald.  We’ll meet all three of them in the coming weeks.  Today, we meet Dolores Coe.

Segment 1:  Aaron King, Assistant Professor in the Department of Public and International Affairs at the University of North Carolina Wilmington

Listen to Prof. Aaron King here.

  Segment 2:  Ken Dull, Wrightsville Beach Board of Aldermen

Listen to Ken Dull here.

Wrightsville Beach is part of New Hanover County – one of three beach towns in the sixth-wealthiest county in the state -- packed into one of the smaller geographic areas.  Wrightsville Beach is 98% white and boasts a median household income of more than $64,000.  For comparison, neighboring Wilmington, also in New Hanover County, posts a median income of around $42,000.

Running for one of the two open seats in Wrightsville Beach is McKinley Dull – better known as Ken Dull.  He is president of the McKinley Building Corporation – a commercial construction management, general contracting, and design build firm based in Wilmington.

It was 1992 that Ken Dull founded his company.  He has served on the Planning Commission for the City of Wilmington, including as Chairman, for four years.   He’s also served on the New Hanover County Planning Commission – which he chaired for three years.  He is currently on the Planning Board for Wrightsville Beach and on the board of Wilmington Business Development. 

A Wilmington resident since 1987, he is married with two daughters:  one graduated from NC State and works in Raleigh; the other is at UNC Chapel Hill.  Ken and his wife, Vicki, are members of the First Baptist Church where he has served as a Deacon.

Segment 3:  Dolores Coe - Kure Beach Town Council

Listen to Dolores Coe here.

Kure Beach is one of three beach towns in New Hanover County.  Of the three, Kure Beach is the smallest – with a population of about two-thousand people.  Sandwiched between Fort Fisher and Carolina Beach, Kure Beach is 70 years old this year. 

Joining us now is Dolores Coe, a small business owner in Kure Beach and property owner there since 1995.  Dolores Coe retired from Marriott International / Sodexo Corporation after serving as an Executive Vice President and logging 35 years in operations, finance, IT, and human resources.   She has served on the Board of Directors for the Marriott Credit Union and Howard University – as well as the Board of Adjustment in Kure Beach.

Rachel hosts and produces CoastLine, an award-winning hourlong conversation featuring artists, humanitarians, scholars, and innovators in North Carolina. The show airs Wednesdays at noon and Sundays at 2 pm on 91.3 FM WHQR Public Media. It's also available as a podcast; just search CoastLine WHQR. You can reach her at rachellh@whqr.org.