Two people are hoping to be the next mayor of the City of Southport. In 2010, the City boasted a population of slightly more than 2,800. Today, the Census Bureau estimates that about 3,600 people call Southport home. In 2015, the last municipal election year in North Carolina, Jerry Dove ran against Joe Pat Hatem. Jerry Dove won the seat by 79 votes or a difference of about 7%. This year it’s a rematch.
Joseph Hatem, also known as Joe Pat Hatem, is a medical doctor who practices at Southport’s Dosher Memorial Hospital. The challenger sees problems.
“The waterfront. Two years ago, there was a waterfront plan, consultants, $180,000 project, and this project has not been implemented at all over the last two years. If we lose our waterfront, if we don’t fix the drainage process, Southport’s greatest industry is tourism. And the reason people come to Southport, is because of our waterfront. It is one of the most festive places in our state.”
Mayor Jerry Dove is completing his first term and is seeking a second. Before serving as Southport’s Mayor, he spent twelve years as Chief of Police in Southport.
“We do have a strategic plan for Southport. We do have one, it’s been in place for many years. It is a vision that we maintain what we have there that traditional, small town charm, and also prepare for the growth that we expect too, to provide to all these citizens.”
Election Day is November 7.