New Hanover County Board of Commissioners

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New Hanover County leaders have announced the county’s first presumptive case of the coronavirus. The person, who recently traveled internationally, is doing well, and isolating at home. They’re just one of many individuals who have received COVID-19 testing in the county.

Katelyn Freund / WHQR

The 2020 Primary is underway in North Carolina.  Early voting lasts through Saturday.  Election Day is next Tuesday, March 3rd.  WHQR spoke with the Democratic candidates competing for three open seats on New Hanover County’s Board of Commissioners. 

Graphic, Katelyn Freund; Images Provided by Candidates


Change is coming to the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners. Incumbent Republicans Woody White and Patricia Kusek are not seeking re-election -- but there are nine other Republican primary candidates on the ballot, vying for three open seats. WHQR spoke to two of them.

Katelyn Freund / WHQR

Early voting in the 2020 Primaries is underway through this Saturday, February 29th.  Election Day is next Tuesday, March 3rd.  In the race for New Hanover County Commissioner, six Democratic candidates are competing for three open seats.  Don Betz, Leslie Cohen, and Travis Robinson are half the Democratic slate.  

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A nationwide movement has made its way to the Cape Fear region. This week, the topic of Second Amendment sanctuaries arose at both New Hanover and Brunswick County Board of Commissioner meetings. But the meetings varied, in tone and in outcome.

 

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Wave Transit and New Hanover County Schools were the main agenda items at the Monday, February 17 County Commissioners meeting. Commissioners voted to approve $358,000 towards school safety initiatives, in light of recent allegations of child sexual abuse by teachers. Board members also authorized the appointment of Woody White to the Wave Authority Board -- but that vote wasn’t unanimous.  

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Wilmington leaders want a 100% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. That’s the announcement Mayor Bill Saffo made at the Tuesday, Jan. 7 City Council meeting. Saffo proposes an Ad Hoc Committee to help achieve this goal. 

New Hanover County

New Hanover County kicked off its first Board of Commissioners meeting of the year on Monday, Jan. 6. The Board approved three separate rezoning requests unanimously. But one additional approved item received some pushback.

Vince Winkel

New Hanover County hosted two meetings about the possible sale of New Hanover Regional Medical Center. The forums on Monday and Tuesday were the only opportunities for members of the public to express their thoughts on the matter. They were not public hearings, but listening sessions. 

Vince Winkel

New Hanover County staff are in the midst of budget season. They are hammering out the 2019-2020 fiscal year numbers, so that county commissioners can approve them before the new year starts on July 1. The  commissioners are bullish on the financial health of the county.

New Hanover County voters have created a Democratic majority on the Board of Commissioners.  And they’ve added a few to what was a fully Republican Board of Education.

www.bosemanforcommissioner.com

Julia Olson-Boseman is running for one of two open seats on the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners.  The Democratic challenger is in a field of four candidates:  two incumbents – Republican Skip Watkins and Democrat Rob Zapple – and a Republican challenger – Eric Lytle.  

skipwatkinsforcommissioner.com

Republican incumbent Skip Watkins is running for a second term on the Board of Commissioners in New Hanover County.  He’s in the race for the two seats with Democratic Incumbent Rob Zapple, also a Board member of WHQR, and two challengers:  Democrat Julia Olson-Boseman and Republican Eric Lytle.  

Julia Olson-Boseman

Julia Olson-Boseman served as a New Hanover County Commissioner from 2000 until 2004 -- then won three terms as a North Carolina State Senator.  As she tells WHQR’s Rachel Lewis Hilburn, she’s proud of her work on film incentives for the state and bringing Verizon Wireless to Wilmington.  

New Hanover County’s Board of Commissioners race was one of the more fiercely fought local races.  At the end of the night on Tuesday, it appeared as though the two incumbents, Republican Woody White and Democrat Jonathan Barfield, will keep their seats.

Patricia Kusek, who has served on the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority Board, is the newcomer and the second-highest vote-getter.  White took the most votes, garnering more than 18%, with Kusek coming in at nearly 17% and Jonathan Barfield coming in just behind Kusek – by a margin of about 14 votes. 

New Hanover County

New Hanover County voters will choose three out of six candidates to represent them on the Board of Commissioners for the next four years.  Woody White is completing his first term, but he says he undertook some soul-searching before deciding to run again.

Democrat Julia Boseman was a New Hanover County commissioner before serving three terms in the North Carolina Senate. She’s been out of the political sphere for about five years, but now she’s back, running again for New Hanover County Board of Commissioners. Job creation is one of Boseman’s main goals, if elected.   

New Hanover County’s Board of Commissioners has three open seats this year.  On an earlier edition of CoastLine Candidate Interviews, we met the Republicans.  On this edition, we meet the Democrats vying for those spots – which carry four-year terms.  

As of last year, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated New Hanover County’s population to be a little over 220,000.   

There are three open seats on New Hanover County’s Board of Commissioners.  The top three Republican candidates will now battle it out with Democrats Jonathan Barfield, Julia Boseman and Nelson Beaulieu in the general election.
 

Incumbent Woody White came in first – with more than 24% of the vote among seven candidates.  Beth Dawson, also running for reelection and the current Board Chair, fell to fourth place which means she won’t be on the ballot in November.  Patricia Kusek and Derrick Hickey took the second and third spots, respectively. 

Campbell Dodd

There are seven Republicans hoping to win one of three spots on the November ballot for New Hanover County Board of Commissioners.  One of those candidates, Campbell Dodd, is taking his second run at county office.  As this Wilmington-based real estate appraiser explains, he has his eye on bringing more industry to the region and quelling the very public divides on the Board.