CoastLine Candidate Interviews

Tuesday, November 7th is Election Day – which means that people living inside city or town limits have local leaders to choose. 

It’s hard to engage voters in municipal election years.  In New Hanover County, voter turnout  is trending downward.   Since 2011, turnout has dropped from 17% to 10%.  Brunswick and Pender Counties seem to hold steady with just over 20 percent of voters coming to the polls.

But this year, some galvanizing issues have ignited controversy.  Whether it translates to higher voter turnout is yet to be determined.    

On this edition, we meet candidates from Oak Island and Kure Beach – two beach towns in southeastern North Carolina.

On this edition of the CoastLine Candidate Interviews, our focus is largely on Oak Island in Brunswick County.  We meet Kevin Lindsey and John Bach – both running for a seat on Town Council there. 

Our focus today is first on Oak Island and then Kure Beach – two beach towns in southeastern North Carolina.  In the Brunswick County Town of Oak Island, six candidates are running for two open seats on council.  Kenny Rogers, whom we will meet today, is challenging Mayor Cin Brochure as she seeks her second term. 

In the two later segments, we’ll meet two people seeking a seat on the Town Council of Kure Beach, located in New Hanover County:  John Ellen and Jerry Dockery.

Segment 1:  Kenny Rogers -- Oak Island Town Council

Our focus here is again on Carolina Beach – the largest beach town in New Hanover County.  At an estimated population of about 6,000,  the town is more than double the size of the county's next largest, Wrightsville Beach.  Median household income is around $60,000 -- higher than nearby Wilmington. 

Two people seeking one of the two open seats on Carolina Beach Town Council are with us today:  Tammy Hanson and LeAnn Pierce.  We will meet them in segments 2 and 3.

The Leland Town Council has four members that serve staggered four-year terms. Arguably, the biggest challenge facing Leland Town Council is dealing with the rapid growth and accompanying infrastructure needs. There are four candidates on the ballot for the two open seats. 

Carolina Beach is the largest of the three beach towns in New Hanover County.  At an estimated population of about 6,000 – more than double the size of the next largest, Wrightsville Beach.  Median household income is around 60-thousand – higher than nearby Wilmington. 

The town is governed by a Council made up of four members and a mayor.   Here, we meet two of the five candidates seeking a Council seat in Carolina Beach.  We also meet the man challenging Mayor Dan Wilcox for his seat this year.

New Hanover County is made up of four municipalities:  the City of Wilmington, three beach towns, and some unincorporated areas.  Wrightsville Beach is one of those three beach towns – governed by a Mayor and Board of Aldermen.  The population, according to the U.S.

On this edition of the CoastLine Candidate Interviews, we meet the two people hoping to be the next mayor of the City of Southport.  We also meet one candidate running for Southport’s Board of Aldermen in Ward 1; Karen Mosteller is also the only incumbent seeking re-election in that Ward.  The other person with an expiring term, Mary Ellen Poole, is not running again.

On this edition of CoastLine, we meet two of the five candidates seeking a seat on the Board of Aldermen in Wrightsville Beach.  We’ll also meet one person running for Southport’s Board of Aldermen in Ward 2.

First, Southport: 

This 225-year-old city spanning less than four square miles near the confluence of the Cape Fear River and the Atlantic Ocean in Brunswick County was voted America’s Happiest Seaside Town by Coastal Living in 2015.  Today, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that about 36-hundred people call Southport home. 

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.

On this edition of the CoastLine Candidate Interviews, we meet one candidate for Leland’s Town Council and one for Board of Commissioners of Brunswick Regional Water and Sewer H2GO. 

But first, we take a closer look at municipal elections with a political scientist.   

Segment 1:  Aaron King, Assistant Professor in the Department of Public and International Affairs at the University of North Carolina Wilmington

The Town of Leland turned 28 years old in September.  The current population, according to estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, is just under 19,000 people.  That’s growth of about 37% in just the last six years.  Leland is part of the Myrtle Beach Metropolitan Statistical Area despite its proximity to Wilmington.  That was a change a major change for Brunswick County which took effect two years ago.  

The Town of Leland turned 28 years old this month.  The current population, according to estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, is just under 19,000 people.  That’s growth of about 37% in just the last six years.  Leland is part of the Myrtle Beach Metropolitan Statistical Area – despite its proximity to Wilmington.  That was a change a major change for Brunswick County which took effect two years ago.  

In the nonpartisan race for Wilmington’s City Council, there are nine people competing for three open seats that carry four-year terms.  Two incumbents are hoping for reelection; they are with us today.  And one seat is wide open since Earl Sheridan decided not to run again. 

Despite the fact that presidential election years turn out the highest numbers of voters, municipal elections have the most direct impact on quality of life.  This fact is pretty widely accepted.  But even the most educated and engaged among us – most notably a political scientist at an esteemed local university – even they are unlikely to know the people who are running for Wilmington’s City Council.

City of Wilmington

Wilmington is home to more than 117-thousand people.   That’s growth of about 11,000 people since the last census in 2010.  73% of the population identifies as white, less than 20% is African-American, and 6% is Latino or Hispanic.

The City of Wilmington is home to more than 117-thousand people.   That’s growth of about 11,000 people since the last census in 2010.  73% of the population identifies as white, less than 20% is African-American, and 6% is Latino or Hispanic.

On this edition of the CoastLine Candidate Interviews, we spend the first segment with one candidate for the Wrightsville Beach Board of Aldermen.  The remaining two segments feature candidates running for Brunswick Regional Water and Sewer H2GO, popularly known as H2GO – who have opposing views on whether to build a reverse osmosis plant. 

Segment 1:  Pat Prince for Wrightsville Beach Board of Aldermen

Brunswick Regional Water and Sewer H2GO, popularly known as H2GO, is a water and sewer utility in Brunswick County that serves the northeast portion of the County including Leland, Belville, parts of Navassa, and some customers located outside of these municipal boundaries.  H2GO serves over 10,000 water customers and nearly 6,000 sewer customers.

ncleg.net

Susi Hamilton held the House seat in North Carolina’s 18th District for three terms and was recently elected to a fourth.  She resigned near the end of January – after new Democratic Governor Roy Cooper tapped her to lead the state’s Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. 

The Brunswick County Board of Commissioners has three of its five districts in play this year; however all county residents vote for all the districts.   Three Democrats are hoping to win seats on what is currently an all-Republican Board in a very red county.

On this edition of the CoastLine Candidate Interviews, we hear from the three Democrats seeking seats on Brunswick County’s Board of Commissioners.

There are five members on the Board – one representing each district in Brunswick County.  The four-year terms are staggered, and elections are held every two years.  This year, Districts 3, 4, and 5 are in play. 

Today, we continue with our CoastLine Candidate Interviews, and on this edition, we’ll hear from two of the three Republicans seeking seats on Brunswick County’s Board of Commissioners.

On this edition of the CoastLine Candidate Interviews, we’ll hear from the two Democrats seeking seats on Brunswick County’s Board of Education.

There are five members on the Board – one representing each district in Brunswick County.  The four-year terms are staggered, and elections are held every two years.  In 2016, Districts 1, 2, and 4 have open seats.  No Democrats filed for District 1, however, which means that Republican Ed Lemon has no formal opposition.  Write-in candidates are permitted.

On this edition of the CoastLine Candidate Interviews, we meet one of three Republicans seeking three seats on Brunswick County’s Board of Education.

There are five members on the Board – one representing each district in Brunswick County.  The four-year terms are staggered, and elections are held every two years.  In 2016, Districts 1, 2, and 4 have open seats.  No Democrats filed for District 1, however, which means that Republican Ed Lemon has no formal opposition.  Write-in candidates are permitted.

David Rouzer

On this edition of the CoastLine Candidate Interviews, we’re talking with David Rouzer.  He’s North Carolina’s  Republican Congressman from Johnston County in the 7th District who has served one term and is seeking a second.  Before winning a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, David Rouzer served in the North Carolina Senate for two terms – representing the 12th district. 

https://www.facebook.com/sunger4nchouse/

On this edition of CoastLine Candidate Interviews, we meet Steve Unger, the Democrat who is challenging Chris Millis, the Republican incumbent, in North Carolina’s House District 16, which includes Pender County and the northwest corner of Onslow County. 

This is the second time Steve Unger has challenged Chris Millis for the seat. 

http://hollygrangeforhouse.com/

On this edition of CoastLine Candidate Interviews, we meet North Carolina Representative Holly Grange, a Republican from New Hanover County who was appointed to the seat in August after Rick Catlin announced he was stepping down.  Holly Grange won the March primary in a contest with current New Hanover County School Board member Tammy Covil.  She has no Democratic Challenger in November. 

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