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Local

Election 2021 results: Saffo holds mayor's seat, newcomer Waddell takes top council spot, and more

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Benjamin Schachtman
/
WHQR
Clifford Barnett, Sr. watches results coming in at Wilmington City Hall. After a tight race, Barnett won a second term.

Incumbents had a strong showing across municipalities in New Hanover County, while — across the river — Leland will see some new faces. The evening had some tight races, with a significantly higher turnout than the last local election, but there don't appear to be any major recounts on the horizon.

The 2021 municipal elections saw the highest voter turnout in recent history; in New Hanover County there was nearly double the early voting turnout and roughly 30% higher overall turnout compared to 2019.

In the race for Wilmington mayor, incumbent Bill Saffo held a firm two-to-one lead over Harper Peterson after early voting tallies were released at the close of polls around 7:30 p.m. Three hours later, little had changed: Saffo defeated Peterson by nearly 30 points, 12,927 to 7,267,

The race for three Wilmington city council seats was closer, with positions shifting throughout the night. Luke Waddell, a newcomer to politics, started the evening in third place and rose throughout the evening to finish in the top spot — surprising even his GOP supporters, who believed he would win a seat but hadn't expected him to finish the evening as the top vote-getter.

Early results put one-term councilman Clifford Barnett, Sr. as the top vote-getter just ahead of former councilman Paul Lawler — he slid to third place by the end of the evening, but maintained enough of a lead over Lawler to secure reelection. Charlie Rivenbark started in fourth but climbed throughout the night, comfortably securing a second-place finish and another term.

In New Hanover County's beach towns there were few surprises. Kure Beach's mayor and two commissioners ran unopposed, as did both Alderman up for election in Wrightsville Beach. In Wrightsville's mayoral campaign, incumbent Daryll Mills took nearly 85% of the vote.

Carolina Beach, known for the civic enthusiasm of its residents, will see some new elected leaders — although they are familiar faces.

In the town's mayoral race, current councilman Lynn Barbee bested formed mayor Dan Wilcox by a 20-point margin. Former major Joe Benson returned to win the top spot, and former planning board member Mike Hoffer narrowly passed Deb LeCompte, who currently serves on both the police advisory and planning boards.

Across the river in Brunswick County, the Town of Leland will see two new council members — Richard Holloman and Bill McHugh took the top spots.

The Leland elections featured six challengers running for two open seats after Pat Batleman and Bob Corriston decided not to run. Leland’s mayors are elected to four-year terms — current mayor Brenda Bozeman won’t be up for election until 2023.

Elections for the sanitary district H2GO went to incumbents —commissioners Bill Beer, Ron Jenkins, and Rodney McCoy all retained their seats. Without an upset, H2GO will likely remain on its path to merge services with the town of Leland.

The final tallies won't be made official until the canvass on Tuesday, November 9, but none of the races covered by WHQR appear to be within the recount margin.

Below: Results for New Hanover, Brunswick, and Pender county elections. Note, all results are unofficial pending certification by county boards of election next week.

New Hanover County


TOWN OF CAROLINA BEACH MAYOR (VOTE FOR 1)
Precincts Reported: 1 of 1
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
Lynn Barbee1,18959.48%
Dan Wilcox79739.87%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)130.65%
TOWN OF CAROLINA BEACH COUNCIL MEMBER (VOTE FOR 2)
Precincts Reported: 1 of 1
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
Joe Benson99525.80%
Mike Hoffer93524.24%
Deb LeCompte91523.72%
Matt Dunn69818.10%
Vincent Losito2957.65%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)190.49%
TOWN OF KURE BEACH MAYOR (VOTE FOR 1)
Precincts Reported: 1 of 1
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
Craig Bloszinsky15892.94%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)127.06%
TOWN OF KURE BEACH BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS (VOTE FOR 2)
Precincts Reported: 1 of 1
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
Allen Oliver16149.09%
John Ellen15346.65%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)144.27%
CITY OF WILMINGTON MAYOR (VOTE FOR 1)
Precincts Reported: 27 of 27
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
Bill Saffo12,92763.38%
Harper Peterson7,26735.63%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)2020.99%
CITY OF WILMINGTON COUNCIL MEMBER (VOTE FOR 3)
Precincts Reported: 27 of 27
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
Luke Waddell9,80617.06%
Charlie Rivenbark9,48016.49%
Clifford D. Barnett, Sr.9,09615.82%
Paul Lawler8,85415.40%
Jonathan Uzcategui7,09412.34%
Philip White6,76011.76%
Angelica (Angie) Ulmer4,5887.98%
Joel (JB) Brookins1,7082.97%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)1060.18%
TOWN OF WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH MAYOR (VOTE FOR 1)
Precincts Reported: 1 of 1
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
Darryl Mills45284.96%
Greg Buscemi6712.59%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)132.44%
TOWN OF WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH ALDERMAN (VOTE FOR 2)
Precincts Reported: 1 of 1
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
H. E. (Hank) Miller III47951.78%
McKinley Dean (Ken) Dull41244.54%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)

Brunswick County


BRUNSWICK REGIONAL WATER AND SEWER H2GO COMMISSIONER (VOTE FOR 3)
Precincts Reported: 7 of 7
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
Bill Beer2,97329.05%
Ronnie Jenkins2,96428.96%
Rodney McCoy2,92828.61%
Robert B. Cruse1,31612.86%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)530.52%
BRUNSWICK – DOSHER HOSPITAL BOARD OF TRUSTEES (VOTE FOR 2)
Precincts Reported: 6 of 6
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
Randy Jones3,72249.34%
Linda Pukenas3,71649.26%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)1051.39%
SOUTHEAST BRUNSWICK SANITARY DISTRICT COMMISSIONER (VOTE FOR 3)
Precincts Reported: 3 of 3
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
Robert (Bob) Smith38735.54%
Bob Lloyd35232.32%
Ed Burnett34031.22%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)100.92%
VILLAGE OF BALD HEAD ISLAND MAYOR (VOTE FOR 1)
Precincts Reported: 1 of 1
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
Peter C. Quinn17460.84%
Lou Ann Earnhardt11138.81%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)10.35%
VILLAGE OF BALD HEAD ISLAND VILLAGE COUNCIL (VOTE FOR 2)
Precincts Reported: 1 of 1
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
Scott Gardner17230.34%
Emily Hill17029.98%
Nathan McBrayer11520.28%
Robert Drumheller11019.40%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)00.00%
TOWN OF BELVILLE MAYOR (VOTE FOR 1)
Precincts Reported: 3 of 3
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
Mike Allen9397.89%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)22.11%
TOWN OF BELVILLE COMMISSIONER (VOTE FOR 2)
Precincts Reported: 3 of 3
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
Ryan E. Merrill8449.41%
David Long, Jr.8147.65%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)52.94%
CITY OF BOILING SPRING LAKES MAYOR (VOTE FOR 1)
Precincts Reported: 1 of 1
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
Jeff Winecoff58261.20%
Tom Guzulaitis36438.28%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)50.53%
CITY OF BOILING SPRING LAKES COMMISSIONER (VOTE FOR 2)
Precincts Reported: 1 of 1
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
David Mammay65538.30%
Kimberly Sherwood48928.60%
Bill Clark30417.78%
Eric N. Maynes24214.15%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)201.17%
TOWN OF BOLIVIA MAYOR (VOTE FOR 1)
Precincts Reported: 1 of 1
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
Ella Jane Marston17100.00%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)00.00%
TOWN OF BOLIVIA ALDERMAN (VOTE FOR 4)
Precincts Reported: 1 of 1
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
Nancy B. Cook1625.00%
Kaitlyn Jackson1523.44%
Dewey Smith1218.75%
Melissa Kay Walters1117.19%
Teresa M. Mercer710.94%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)34.69%
TOWN OF CALABASH COMMISSIONER (VOTE FOR 3)
Precincts Reported: 1 of 1
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
Joseph (Jody) Nance12234.96%
Michael Price11432.66%
Frank J. Drury10429.80%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)92.58%
TOWN OF CAROLINA SHORES MAYOR (VOTE FOR 1)
Precincts Reported: 2 of 2
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
Joseph J. Przywara68894.90%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)375.10%
TOWN OF CAROLINA SHORES COMMISSIONER (VOTE FOR 2)
Precincts Reported: 2 of 2
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
Debbie Watts49331.62%
Greg G. Davis44028.22%
Gregory L. Hapner27717.77%
Lon Forehand27017.32%
Walter B. Goodenough704.49%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)90.58%
TOWN OF CASWELL BEACH COMMISSIONER (VOTE FOR 2)
Precincts Reported: 1 of 1
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
Sharon L. Remaly5449.09%
George F. Kassler5247.27%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)43.64%
TOWN OF HOLDEN BEACH MAYOR (VOTE FOR 1)
Precincts Reported: 1 of 1
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
Alan Holden7186.59%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)1113.41%
TOWN OF HOLDEN BEACH COMMISSIONER (VOTE FOR 2)
Precincts Reported: 1 of 1
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
Rick Smith6345.00%
Patricia (Pat) Kwiatkowski6042.86%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)1712.14%
TOWN OF HOLDEN BEACH COMMISSIONER (UNEXPIRED TERM) (VOTE FOR 1)
Precincts Reported: 1 of 1
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
Page Dyer7795.06%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)44.94%
TOWN OF LELAND COUNCILMAN (VOTE FOR 2)
Precincts Reported: 6 of 6
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
Richard Holloman1,88321.49%
Bill McHugh1,83520.94%
Allison Dunlap1,72019.63%
Jason Gaver1,71719.59%
Nicholas Newell1,06112.11%
Louis Harmati5386.14%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)100.11%
TOWN OF NAVASSA MAYOR (VOTE FOR 1)
Precincts Reported: 2 of 2
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
Eulis A. Willis18589.81%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)2110.19%
TOWN OF NAVASSA COMMISSIONER DISTRICT 01 (VOTE FOR 2)
Precincts Reported: 2 of 2
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
Ernest Mooring, Jr.12129.73%
Ida White Dixon11929.24%
Minnie Brown9924.32%
Tony Burgess6716.46%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)10.25%
CITY OF NORTHWEST MAYOR (VOTE FOR 1)
Precincts Reported: 1 of 1
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
James A. Knox11194.87%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)65.13%
CITY OF NORTHWEST COUNCILMAN (VOTE FOR 3)
Precincts Reported: 1 of 1
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
Sheila Grady13235.87%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)9325.27%
Charles (Chip) Carroll7319.84%
Aaron Perkins7019.02%
TOWN OF OAK ISLAND MAYOR (VOTE FOR 1)
Precincts Reported: 6 of 6
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
Liz White2,04964.05%
Ken Thomas1,13635.51%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)140.44%
TOWN OF OAK ISLAND COUNCILMAN (VOTE FOR 2)
Precincts Reported: 6 of 6
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
John W. Bach1,63227.43%
Mark Martin1,43424.10%
Lynn McDowell1,39023.36%
Loman Scott77813.08%
Charles H. Farley70511.85%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)110.18%
TOWN OF OAK ISLAND COUNCILMAN (UNEXPIRED TERM) (VOTE FOR 1)
Precincts Reported: 6 of 6
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
Bill Craft2,37379.39%
Charles (Red) McWells59519.91%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)210.70%
TOWN OF OCEAN ISLE BEACH MAYOR (VOTE FOR 1)
Precincts Reported: 1 of 1
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
Debbie Sloane Smith33163.29%
Leigh Simmons19136.52%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)10.19%
TOWN OF OCEAN ISLE BEACH COMMISSIONER (VOTE FOR 2)
Precincts Reported: 1 of 1
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
R. Wayne Rowell24624.48%
Tom Athey24524.38%
Susanne Adams19619.50%
Wendy Hughes12812.74%
D. B. Grantham10210.15%
Susan Harrison848.36%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)40.40%
TOWN OF SANDY CREEK MAYOR (VOTE FOR 1)
Precincts Reported: 1 of 1
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
Glenn Marshall2482.76%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)517.24%
TOWN OF SANDY CREEK COUNCILMAN (VOTE FOR 2)
Precincts Reported: 1 of 1
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
Tina Colby2338.98%
Austin Lentz2338.98%
Anna Knapp813.56%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)58.47%
TOWN OF SHALLOTTE MAYOR (VOTE FOR 1)
Precincts Reported: 5 of 5
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
Walt Eccard23794.42%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)145.58%
TOWN OF SHALLOTTE ALDERMAN (VOTE FOR 2)
Precincts Reported: 5 of 5
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
Gene Vasile21849.55%
James (Jimmy) Bellamy21047.73%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)122.73%
CITY OF SOUTHPORT MAYOR (VOTE FOR 1)
Precincts Reported: 2 of 2
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
Joe Pat Hatem1,12662.56%
Rebecca Kelley66937.17%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)50.28%
CITY OF SOUTHPORT ALDERMAN WARD 01 (VOTE FOR 2)
Precincts Reported: 2 of 2
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
Karen Mosteller1,06233.40%
Robert Carroll92929.21%
Marc Spencer61819.43%
Vickie W. Potter56217.67%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)90.28%
CITY OF SOUTHPORT ALDERMAN WARD 02 (VOTE FOR 1)
Precincts Reported: 2 of 2
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
Rich Alt73743.33%
Nelson E. Adams36921.69%
Lora Sharkey31318.40%
Rhonda Yvette Davis27916.40%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)30.18%
TOWN OF ST. JAMES COUNCIL MEMBER (VOTE FOR 3)
Precincts Reported: 2 of 2
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
Jim Board1,18824.11%
David J. Morgan1,06721.66%
David DeLong95219.32%
Dennis Barclay89818.23%
Jeff Mount79716.18%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)250.51%
TOWN OF SUNSET BEACH MAYOR (VOTE FOR 1)
Precincts Reported: 3 of 3
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
Shannon (Hotdog) Phillips1,44696.85%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)473.15%
TOWN OF SUNSET BEACH COUNCILMAN (VOTE FOR 3)
Precincts Reported: 3 of 3
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
Michael Hargreaves1,38326.44%
John F. Corbett, Jr.1,07920.63%
Charlie Nern94017.97%
Richard Dysinger5209.94%
John Shirk4729.02%
Lewis Townsend4719.01%
William (Bill) Boe3556.79%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)100.19%
TOWN OF VARNAMTOWN MAYOR (VOTE FOR 1)
Precincts Reported: 1 of 1
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
Bill Kirby11758.21%
Judy L. Galloway8341.29%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)10.50%
TOWN OF VARNAMTOWN ALDERMAN (VOTE FOR 2)
Precincts Reported: 1 of 1
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
Jan Varnam Hickman12534.63%
Tammie V. Galloway11531.86%
Ada McDonald7520.78%
George Ennis Swain4612.74%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)00.00%
TOWN OF VARNAMTOWN ALDERMAN (UNEXPIRED TERM) (VOTE FOR 1)
Precincts Reported: 1 of 1
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
Tony Varnum11759.09%
Kristie Coble8140.91%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)00.00%
VILLAGE OF BALD HEAD ISLAND PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION BONDS
Precincts Reported: 1 of 1
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
YES16558.30%
NO11841.70%
H2GO ANNEXATION OF BRUNSWICK FOREST
Precincts Reported: 1 of 1
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
For1,80694.16%
Against

Pender County


TOWN OF ATKINSON MAYOR (VOTE FOR 1)
Precincts Reported: 1 of 1
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
Elton Wendell Newkirk, Sr.5553.40%
Bryan Stewart4442.72%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)43.88%
TOWN OF ATKINSON COMMISSIONER (VOTE FOR 2)
Precincts Reported: 1 of 1
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
Penny Stith5632.56%
Denise Lewis5531.98%
Dee Turner3620.93%
Crystle Dunning2514.53%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)00.00%
TOWN OF BURGAW MAYOR (VOTE FOR 1)
Precincts Reported: 2 of 2
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
Olivia Dawson28052.14%
Kenneth (Pete) Cowan25647.67%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)10.19%
TOWN OF BURGAW COMMISSIONER (VOTE FOR 2)
Precincts Reported: 2 of 2
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
James R. Malloy32738.20%
Jan L. Dawson30235.28%
Brent A. Springer22526.29%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)20.23%
VILLAGE OF ST. HELENA MAYOR (VOTE FOR 1)
Precincts Reported: 1 of 1
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
Robert M. Barnhill3756.92%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)2843.08%
VILLAGE OF ST. HELENA COUNCILMAN (VOTE FOR 2)
Precincts Reported: 1 of 1
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
Neil Benton3432.38%
Judith (Judy) Katalinic3331.43%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)2321.90%
George A. Brunetti1514.29%
TOWN OF SURF CITY COUNCIL MEMBER (VOTE FOR 2)
Precincts Reported: 2 of 2
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
Teresa Batson Batts16650.61%
Jeremy Shugarts14243.29%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)206.10%
TOWN OF TOPSAIL BEACH COMMISSIONER (VOTE FOR 3)
Precincts Reported: 1 of 1
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
Tim Zizack6236.26%
Frank Braxton5934.50%
Morton Blanchard4325.15%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)74.09%
TOWN OF WATHA MAYOR (VOTE FOR 1)
Precincts Reported: 1 of 1
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
Needham C. Hall16100.00%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)00.00%
TOWN OF WATHA COMMISSIONER (VOTE FOR 3)
Precincts Reported: 1 of 1
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
Kenneth Fountain1435.90%
J. Craig1230.77%
Samuel Stadsvold1230.77%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)