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By Steven Nass - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=38869847

A federal court ruled earlier this year that two of North Carolina’s congressional districts, drawn in 2011, were unconstitutional because they were racially gerrymandered.  That case is to be argued before the U.S.

https://services.math.duke.edu/projects/gerrymandering/

Earlier this year, a federal court ruled deemed two of North Carolina’s Congressional districts unconstitutional due to racial gerrymandering. That case is to be argued before the U.S. Supreme Court next week. Duke University researchers have developed nonpartisan ways to draw districts and evaluate their fairness.   

OpenSource.com on Flickr Creative Commons - https://www.flickr.com/photos/opensourceway/4427310974/

Economic development is the way municipalities, counties, states, and nations improve the quality of life for its citizens.  Economic growth is one element and can be a metric for measuring that.  In pursuit that growth, communities often lay out a blueprint – a vision – that details how they would like to see that growth unfold. 

"Crazy Thanksgiving" by Louish Pixel on Flickr Creative Commons -- https://www.flickr.com/photos/louish/

Did you vote for Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Gary Johnson, or Jill Stein?

Are you pro-life or pro-choice?

How do you feel about immigration? Do you refer to people living in the United States illegally as illegal aliens or people who are undocumented?  

Throughout election season, Donald Trump referred to the media as "dishonest and crooked." But that assessment is not limited to the President-elect. 

North Carolina’s House District 18 – which includes New Hanover and Brunswick Counties – is one of the few regional races with a Democratic winner.  Incumbent Susi Hamilton will serve her district for a fourth term.

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. 

Brunswick County Boards Remain Republican

Nov 9, 2016

Board of Commissioners

Brunswick County’s Board of Commissioners had three out of five seats in play.  The county is made up of five districts, and all county residents vote for all districts. 

Brunswick County is majority Republican.  With unaffiliated voters making up the second largest voting bloc, any Democratic candidate has a steep mountain to climb.  And last night’s vote kept Brunswick County Commissioners reliably – and 100% Republican. 

Pender and Onslow Election Results

Nov 9, 2016

PENDER

In Pender County's Board of Commissioners race, Republican Jacqueline Newton beat out Democrat incumbent Demetrice Keith for District 4.  Republican Vice-Chair Fred McCoy maintained his District 5 seat; he was challenged by Democrat Sheree Shepard.

ONSLOW

Five seats were up for grabs on Onslow County’s Board of Commissioners, and all of them went to Republican candidates.  Vice-Chair Paul Buchanan won re-election, as did Commissioner Jack Bright.  Royce Bennett, Robin Knapp, and Mark Price are newcomers to the Board.

In the race for New Hanover County’s Board of Education, the Republicans maintained their control.  Lisa Estep and Jeannette Nichols won re-election, and David Wortman will come on as a new school board member.  

After a fiercely competitive race with numerous attack ads against both candidates, Republican incumbent Michael Lee has won North Carolina’s District 9 Senate seat.  This district covers most of New Hanover County, with the exception of a small patch in downtown Wilmington.  In his second term, he wants to tackle economic development and education. 

RLH

Some have aptly described this Election Day – the voting part – not the counting ballots part – as the eye of the storm.  Around lunch time, anecdotal reports described trickles of voters around the region – after a relatively busy morning. 

Brenda and Bobby Hunt showed up at the polls just after 1 o’clock -- what they hoped would be a slow time to vote in Brunswick County – and they were right.  But line or no line, military veteran Bobby Hunt says exercising the right to vote is something he would not miss. 

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.

In Brunswick County, Republican Frank Williams is running for his second term representing District 5 on the Board of Commissioners, and Mike Forte is running for District 4.  Both Republican candidates are focused on economic development and education.

According to Mike Forte, the only economic engine in Brunswick County is tourism, and he says this isn’t enough:

"That’s part-time, minimum wage jobs. I have two sons—24 and 20 years old. They need full time work. Warehousing, manufacturing, industry— We need real jobs."

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.

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Besides the addition of classrooms and schools to address overcrowding concerns, the bond money would go towards updating technology.  That’s according to Deanne Meadows, Assistant Superintendent for Brunswick County Schools:

"You have to continue to upgrade and update your technology resources.  We are on a seven-year rotation right now.  It really should be five years that we take a computer and we trade it out for an upgrade."

http://votemarty.org/

Marty Mentzer is running as a Democrat to represent District 4 of Brunswick County’s Board of Education.  As a retired teacher with over two decades of experience, she says her number one issue is increasing teacher pay and morale. 

Marty Mentzer says state cuts to education spending have discouraged teachers.  But she says local actions could help pick up the slack left by state lawmakers:  

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.

Republican Catherine Cooke is running for her third term on the Brunswick County Board of Education, representing District 2. She’s challenged by Democrat Sharon Woodard Crawford.  The two candidates are split on the topic of the $152 million school bond.

The last Brunswick County school bond was passed in 1999, and there’s still some remaining debt to be paid off.  The new bond proposal would pay for the construction of Town Creek Middle School, an early college high school, and new classrooms. 

http://www.ncleg.net/

On this edition of the CoastLine Candidate Interviews, we meet Representative Frank Iler, the Republican from Brunswick County who has served North Carolina’s House District 17 for three-and-a-half terms and is seeking a fourth.  We had also booked his Democratic challenger, Charles Warren.  Mr. Warren let us know a couple of days earlier that he could not appear due to an emergency. 

Republican Gerald Benton is challenging Democratic incumbent Susi Hamilton for North Carolina House District 18.  As the future of film in the state hangs in limbo, the two candidates differ in how they’d approach incentives.

Gerald Benton says film only benefits two counties in North Carolina: Mecklenburg and New Hanover.  If he were to push for the return of a tax incentive, he says he’d be indebted to the other 98 counties in the state:

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. 

Republican David Rouzer is running for a second term representing North Carolina’s 7th District in the U.S. House of Representatives. He’s challenged by Wesley Casteen, a Libertarian-turned-Democrat. 

The candidates are divided on energy policy.   

Wesley Casteen does not support offshore drilling for oil or natural gas.  Even if the state could enter into a revenue-sharing agreement with the federal government, he doesn’t think the economic benefits would outweigh the risks:

On this edition of the CoastLine Candidate Interviews, we meet North Carolina Representative Susi Hamilton, a Democrat from New Hanover County, who has held the seat for three terms and is seeking a fourth. 

But first, we hear from her Republican challenger this November – Gerald Benton. 

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

Democrat Steve Unger is challenging Republican incumbent Chris Millis in North Carolina’s House District 16, which includes Pender County and the northwest corner of Onslow County.  Unger says transportation infrastructure is his number one issue, and that transportation issues need to be looked at regionally, not just county by county:

http://hollygrangeforhouse.com/

A little over a month ago, North Carolina Representative Holly Grange was sworn in to office, after Rick Catlin stepped down from his role representing House District 20.  She has no Democratic challenger in November.  The Republican wants to ease regulations and licensing requirements to promote small business in the state.

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