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New Hanover County School Board flips to majority Republican

NHCSBOE newest members
Rachel Keith
NHC Board of Elections
NHCSBOE newest members

It’s a GOP sweep for the New Hanover County Board of Education.

Democratic incumbents Judy Justice and Nelson Beaulieu were voted out. The two Black candidates Veronica McLaurin-Brown and Dorian Cromartie, both Democrats challengers, also lost — meaning the school board will remain all white.

Republican challenger Pat Bradford was the top vote-getter followed by incumbent Republican Pete Wildeboer, and Republican challengers Josie Barnhart, and Melissa Mason. It's now a 5 to 2 majority Republican board.

Bradford said her top priority will be focusing on academics.

“I want children to read and to write and to add a column of figures. Their futures are absolutely dim without being able to have that basic skill. And we have young people going into high school who can't read. Our high school teachers aren't trained to teach students how to read. They're trained to teach them much more advanced subjects. So we have to go back to the basics,” Bradford said.

Results won’t be official until the canvass date on November 18, as the county board of elections still has to count both provisional and mail-in ballots.

State Board of Elections
State Board of Elections

Rachel is a graduate of UNCW's Master of Public Administration program, specializing in Urban and Regional Policy and Planning. She also received a Master of Education and two Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Science and French Language & Literature from NC State University. She served as WHQR's News Fellow from 2017-2019. Contact her by email: rkeith@whqr.org or on Twitter @RachelKWHQR