In yesterday’s municipal elections, Wilmington’s three incumbent city council candidates kept their seats, beating out three challengers. Kevin O’Grady, Charlie Rivenbark and Earl Sheridan will all begin new four-year terms. Mayor Bill Saffo, who ran unopposed, will also continue to serve the city for another two-year term.
Last night’s race was a close one. It wasn’t until close to ten o’clock last night that incumbent Earl Sheridan, a political science professor at UNCW, pulled slightly ahead of Skip Watkins, a local financial advisor.
Sheridan, who seemed like he might lose his seat for a good portion of the evening, finished just a couple of percentage points above Watkins, and below fellow incumbents O’Grady and Rivenbark. The council’s mayor pro tem and a Wilmington native, Sheridan sat stoic beside his wife in the city council chambers while returns filtered in.
"It was a close election and it was looking kind of dicey there for a while. I was a little concerned. You know, that’s just the way life is. You have to roll with the punches if you’re gonna be in politics."
Sheridan says his first priority during this, his third term, involves tackling Wilmington’s uptick in crime and violence.