CoastLine: Reporter Round Table On Municipal Elections 2019
Voters turned out in larger numbers for this year’s municipal elections. Brunswick County saw a 2% increase compared to 2017. In Pender County, turnout ticked up about a point and a half, and in New Hanover County, 19% of registered voters cast a ballot. That’s the biggest jump – nearly four-and-a-half points compared to 2017.
Wilmington’s Mayor since 2006, Bill Saffo, held onto his seat by a very thin margin – just 4 points or 630 votes. Challenger Kevin Spears had the second highest number of votes in the Wilmington City Council race – pushing incumbent Paul Lawler down to fourth place and out of his seat by six votes. In Southport, the mayor and aldermen in both wards lost their seats to challengers.
In Leland, four-term mayor Brenda Bozeman easily won her race against a challenger who was hard to find – except on Election Day. Leland Town Council added a new member, Veronica Carter – who also won the most votes -- but there was only one incumbent in that race and Bob Campbell kept his seat.
Also in Leland, voters ousted the one H2G0 Board incumbent running who has historically opposed building a separate reverse osmosis plant. Voters overwhelmingly sent the two pro-RO candidates to take seats.