CoastLine Candidate Interviews: New Hanover County Commission - Hays, Rivenbark, Barfield

Sep 16, 2020

New Hanover County’s Board of Commissioners has five seats.  Each member is elected to a staggered, four-year term.  In 2020, there are three open seats.

Two of the incumbents, Patricia Kusek and Woody White, have chosen not to run again.   The third incumbent, Jonathan Barfield, is seeking re-election. 

We meet three of the six candidates in Part One. 


Deb Hays describes herself as a professional member of the real estate community.  She works as a broker for Intracoastal Realty and, in the past, has served as Regional Vice President for the NC Realtors, President of Cape Fear Realtors Association, and she sat on the North Carolina Realtors Board of Directors.  She is also a past Chair of Wilmington’s Planning Commission, she is the current Vice Chair for Wilmington Downtown Inc., and she serves on the Boards of WARM – Wilmington Area Rebuilding Ministry and Airlie Gardens Foundation – on which she is Vice President.  She is current chair of the Art Unveiling Committee for the Azalea Festival and is a past chair of the Wilmington Housing Authority Board.  

Bill Rivenbark is currently a member of New Hanover County’s Board of Education in the middle of a four-year term.  He is a lifelong resident of Wilmington and retired from a New Hanover County ABC Store.

Jonathan Barfield is the only incumbent running for re-election. Since his election to the board in 2008, he has served as Chairman four times and Vice Chair thrice.  He’s lived in New Hanover County almost all of his life.  As a licensed Realtor, he owns Barfield & Associates Realty, LLC and is a past president of the Wilmington Regional Association of Realtors. His community involvement includes the Blue Ribbon Commission on the Prevention of Youth Violence and the boards of the Children’s Museum and Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity.  He is also a Former Chairman of the Affordable Housing Coalition of Southeastern North Carolina.  He was a member of the NC Sheriffs Education and Training Standards Commission. He served on the New Hanover Regional Medical Center Board for four years, and he is a past Chair of the Department of Social Services.  Jonathan Barfield is also Associate Pastor of Sanctuary of Wilmington.