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CoastLine Candidate Interviews: Oak Island Mayor (Brochure) and Kure Beach (Swearingen & Oliver)

On this edition, we meet candidates from Oak Island and Kure Beach – two beach towns in southeastern North Carolina.

Our focus is first on Oak Island in Brunswick County.  The Town formed in 1999 through the consolidation of Long Beach and Yaupon Beach. While the census bureau estimates the year-round population at about 7700, summer tourists – including day-trippers -- can cause the population to swell to up to 50,000 people.   Six candidates are running for two open seats on Oak Island’s Town Council.  There will be seven names on the ballot, however, Natasha Tatum says she’s not actively seeking a seat. 

Segment 1:  Cin Brochure, Oak Island Mayoral Candidate (Incumbent)

Listen to Cin Brochure here.

Oak Island is governed by a Council of five and a mayor.  Cin Brochure has served as the Town’s Mayor since 2016 – after being elected November of 2015.  She is seeking her second term.  Before becoming Mayor, Cin Brochure worked as the Tourism and Economic Development Director for the City of Southport – also in Brunswick County.   Part of that job involved serving as the Fort Johnston – Southport Museum Director and the Museum Store Manager.  She has worked as a real estate broker and as Vice President of the Kinston-Lenoir County Chamber.  She is the mother of four and the grandmother of five. 

Segment 2:  Emilie Swearingen, Kure Beach Town Council Candidate (Current Mayor)

Listen to Emilie Swearingen here.

Kure Beach is New Hanover County’s smallest beach town – of the three.  Sandwiched between Fort Fisher and Carolina Beach, it’s governed by a Mayor and a Town Council made up of four Commissioners.  There are five people competing for two open seats this year.  Six names will appear on the ballot – but Lisa Lowery tells us she is not an active candidate. 

Emilie Swearingen is the current Mayor of Kure Beach. However, she’s not seeking a second term in that position.  She wants to return to Council as a Commissioner. Emilie Swearingen was appointed to Council in 2010 to finish out Tim Fuller’s term.  In 2011, she ran for a seat and won.  It was 2015 that she was elected Mayor. 

She says her more than 30 years’ experience in state and local government includes working with the North Carolina Department of Military and Veterans’ Affairs.  She’s served on the Governor’s Advocacy Council on Children and Youth, with the Division of Facility Services – which involves licensing nursing homes, and the state’s Department of Health and Human Services.   She’s worked on Community Development through the Block Grant program in Winston-Salem, Hendersonville, and Wilmington.  And she’s been an elementary school teacher in Virginia and North Carolina. She’s volunteered for multiple boards and committees:  a sampling includes the New Hanover County Library Advisory Board, the Wilmington Metropolitan Planning Organization Board, the New Hanover County Tourism Development Authority Board, and the WAVE Five-Year Transit Plan Steering Committee.

Segment 3:  Allen Oliver, Kure Beach Town Council Candidate

Listen to Allen Oliver here.

Allen Oliver is one of the five people hoping to win a seat in Kure Beach.  He started his professional career as a Center Director for Rowan County Parks from 1979 to 1982.  He later served the Town of Mooresville as Athletic Director for three years in the 1980s.  He has worked Director of Parks and Recreation for both Asheboro and High Point. 

Allen Oliver’s community service includes as President of the Asheboro Rotary Club, President of the Blue Comet Boosters Club, and member of the Board of Directors of the Randolph Arts Guild and the High Point Area Arts Council.  He also spent nine years on the Special Olympics North Carolina Board of Directors – two of those as Chair.

He and his wife, Mindy, moved to Kure Beach in 2014.  He serves on the Kure Beach Parks Advisory Board and is the town’s representative on the WMPO Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Committee.   He currently works at Masonboro Country Club.

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 4 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.