Ten candidates file for office in New Hanover County on first day of filing period

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Emilie Swearingen (pictured here)  was one the candidates filing at the New Hanover Board of Elections office.
Emilie Swearingen was one of the candidates filing at the New Hanover Board of Elections office on Monday. She is running for mayor of Kure Beach. Photos by James Mieczkowski.

Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo and Mayor Pro-Tem Margaret Haynes were among the first candidates to file for office when the filing period opened at 8 a.m. Monday at the New Hanover County Board of Elections office.

Other mayoral incumbents who filed for re-election include Wrightsville Beach’s Bill Blair and Kure Beach’s Dean Lambeth.

Open seats in November’s municipal elections include Wilmington’s mayor, three seats on Wilmington City Council, mayor of Carolina Beach, two seats on Carolina Beach Town Council, mayor of Kure Beach, two seats on Kure Beach Town Council, mayor of Wrightsville Beach and two seats on the Wrightsville Beach Board of Aldermen.

Emilie Swearingen, who’s served on Kure Beach Town Council since 2010, filed to run for mayor of the town on Monday. Paul Lawler, a newcomer to running for elected office in Wilmington, is vying for one of the three seats on Wilmington City Council.

Lawler, who previously served as president of Residents of Old Wilmington (ROW), has been vocal in his opposition to certain city projects and processes, such as the city’s process and aspects of the Water Street Parking deck revitalization project.

Related story: City moves forward with Water Street parking deck redevelopment; ROW voices concerns

“Wilmington is not immune to the challenges of a vibrant and growing city,” Lawler said in a statement released Monday. “We need to anticipate the influx of new residents with good planning that will provide economic opportunities and improved public safety that will help make Wilmington an even better place to live and work.”

The filing period continues until noon Friday, July 17. For more information, visit the New Hanover County Board of Elections page.

Paul and Patricia Lawler. Paul Lawler filed for Wilmington City Council candidacy. Photo by: James Mieczkowski
Paul and Patricia Lawler. Paul Lawler filed for Wilmington City Council.