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00000177-efb4-dee4-afff-efbec5b90000Click here for voting information on polling places, voter registration, and more. To meet the people who want to represent you, click on the “live” links below for feature pieces on contested races. New features are posted weekly and all reporting will be posted by March 1st. HQR News 91.3 FM...For complete Election 2020 News and Coverage. Results Primary 2020 Results: Ted Davis, Jr. Wins In District 20 House ContestPrimary 2020 Results: Race For New Hanover County Commissioners Down To Three From Each PartyPrimary 2020 Results: The Race For NC House District 19Two Incumbents Out, One Remains in 2020 Brunswick County PrimariesChristopher Ward Wins 7th Congressional District Democratic Primary, Will Challenge Rouzer Coverage from CoastLine: CoastLine: Primary 2020 Results Bring November into FocusCoastLine: Primary 2020 Preview - Races, Issues, Candidates with PCDWHQR Talks With Port City Daily's Ben Schachtman on Local Issues and Upcoming Primaries*Any inquries about 2020 Primary Election Coverage can be addressed to Rachel Keith at rkeith@whqr.org. Reporter Coverage: US House District 7 - DRobert Colon Mark JudsonChristopher M. Ward NC House District 19 - R Charlie MillerDavid A. Perry NC House District 19 - D James Dawkins, Jr. Marcia MorganNC House District 20 - R Ted Davis, Jr. Justin LaNasaNHC Commissioner - D Jonathan Barfield, Jr. Don Betz Leslie CohenKyle HortonSteve Miller Travis Robinson NHC Commissioner - R Deb Hays Joe IrreraHarry KnightJohn Lyon Frank Christopher MearesRicky Meeks Matt Rhodes Bill Rivenbark Skip Watkins NHC Board of Education - RJanice CavenaughFrederick Fisher Stephanie KraybillPete Wildeboer BC Commissioner District 3 -R Pat Sykes Jeff WinecoffBC Board of Education District 2 - R Catherine D. Cooke David M. Robinson BC Board of Education District 4 - RShirley C. Babson Steven Barger Ellen G. Milligan

Primary 2020: Republican Candidates For NHC Commission Focus On Jobs, Water, Health And Education


There are nine Republican candidates vying to be a New Hanover County Commissioner. The top three vote getters in the primary will move on to the November Election. 

Former County Commissioner Skip Watkins – he served from 2014 to 2018 – points to a trio of issues he says need more attention and management. 

”Well, the hundred pound gorilla is the hospital, and I think that is a very important issue. But I think the recurring issues such as how do we handle development? How do we deal with the opioid crisis? How do we deal with GenX? I think they're in different categories. So, personally, we accomplished a lot in my one term, and I want to get back into the fight against GenX. I think it's an insult, it's a horror to our community and, gone on far too long. The opioid crisis currently is not top fold news in the area because of other issues, but you know, annually, over 50,000 people a year die, more American soldiers died in Vietnam over those several years. So we were forgetting or we're not paying enough attention and resources to that.”

Watkins also mentioned he was on the Board when it implemented the only property tax decrease in decades for the County.

For candidate Joe Irrera, it’s the economy.

“My top priority is the economy. New Hanover County is doing very well currently. And I hope to continue that and even expand upon it. Working in collaboration with some of our business development entities and various other stakeholders, you know City and countywide. And just make sure that job creation is always a very hot topic. We have two incredible institutions locally with Cape Fear Community College and UNCW. We also have a couple of other satellite universities, but we also have a variety of other industries, you know, national and international industries. So I would work to retain what we have here and expand.”

Irerra retired as a Colonel after 30 years in the Marine Corps. 

Deb Hays served over eight years as Chair of the City of Wilmington Planning Commission, and is a realtor with Intracoastal. She looks to education as a key priority.

”I'm very focused on education and not because of all the recent news, but because I believe that to be the core of almost everything that we do. I also believe that job growth is critically important to the success of our community. Our infrastructure. We need to make sure that we have an ongoing plan for that infrastructure and to take into account the increase in population that's going on. And I am very, very strong on housing affordability. And I choose that word very carefully and with great thought because I truly understand all the assets, all the different variations of what affordable housing is.”

Hays also spent more than 12 years as the Chair of the Wilmington Housing Authority.

Vince Winkel, WHQR News.