On this edition of CoastLine, we meet two of three candidates seeking one of two open seats on Southport’s Board of Aldermen in Ward 1. This small seaside city in Brunswick County is divided into two wards – each represented by three people to make up a six-member board. The Mayor of the City of Southport serves a two-year term. Aldermen serve four-year terms which are staggered.
Southport is a 225-year-old city that spans less than four square miles and sits near the confluence of the Cape Fear River and the Atlantic Ocean in Brunswick County. It was voted America’s Happiest Seaside Town by Coastal Living in 2015. In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau pegged the population at slightly more than 2800. Today, the Bureau estimates that about 3600 people call Southport home.
The City was founded as Smithville in 1792. It was 1887 when the name changed to Southport.
One of the challengers we’ll meet, Marc Spencer, took a run at the Board in 2015. Robert Tucker, a former City of Southport employee, is also seeking a seat. The two seats with expiring terms are currently occupied by Karen Mosteller, whom we will meet next week, and Mary Ellen Poole who is not running again.
But first, we’re going to learn about some of the key changes going into effect this year -- what voters need to know -- with the new director of New Hanover County’s Board of Elections.
Segment 1: Rae Hunter-Havens
Rae Hunter-Havens was named Director of New Hanover County's Board of Elections earlier this year. She took over as interim director in May when Derek Bowens resigned to take a position in Durham. Before that, she worked for six years as an elections systems specialist for New Hanover County.
Segment 2: Robert Tucker - Southport Board of Aldermen, Ward 1
Robert Tucker worked as Southport’s Public Services Director until a previous City Manager eliminated his position in 2014 during a Board retreat. It was part of what Kerry McDuffie called a “re-organization”.
Before that, Robert Tucker worked as the Assistant County Engineer in Wake County. He served as County Engineer in Brunswick County, and he was Director of Development Services in the Town of Cary. He also served as Chairman of the Southport’s Planning Board from 1991 to 1996. He is currently Vice President and Director of Engineering for East Coast Engineering and Surveying.
Segment 3: Marc Spencer - Southport Board of Aldermen, Ward 1
According to his Facebook page, Marc Spencer is a Southport Native. He ran for a seat on Southport's Board in 2015 and lost to Todd Coring.
He works as a real estate agent with his own company, Lightkeeper. He says that over the last 30 years, he’s worked on various municipal, county, state, and US Senate campaigns.