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Forum: Republican candidates in the 2024 New Hanover County school board primary election

On this episode, we unpack the recent forum for Republican primary candidates running for the New Hanover County Board of Education. We’ll look at how each of the candidates tried to position themselves among their fellow conservatives. We’ll also look at some of the issues facing the district, including a staggering $20 million budget shortfall, the ongoing debate about DEI, learning loss and low-performing schools, and calls to fire superintendent Dr. Charles Foust.

We hosted this event along with WECT and Port City Daily, and reporters — and emcee Jon Evans — got a chance to pose questions to all five GOP candidates running for three spots in the general election: Nikki Bascome, Dr. Kimberly McDuffie Murphy, David Perry, Natosha Tew, and Aubrey Tuell.

We’d initially planned to do a companion forum with Democratic candidates — but since there are just three active candidates, there’s not a real need for a Democratic primary, so we’re holding off until ahead of the general election for them.


Ben Schachtman is a journalist and editor with a focus on local government accountability. He began reporting for Port City Daily in the Wilmington area in 2016 and took over as managing editor there in 2018. He’s a graduate of Rutgers College and later received his MA from NYU and his PhD from SUNY-Stony Brook, both in English Literature. He loves spending time with his wife and playing rock'n'roll very loudly. You can reach him at BSchachtman@whqr.org and find him on Twitter @Ben_Schachtman.
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