A former police chief has edged out a victory over a well-known local doctor to become the new mayor of Southport.
Jerry Dove beat Joe Pat Hatem, an internist at Dosher Memorial Hospital, by 79 votes in Tuesday night’s municipal election. Dove retired in October after 21 years as Southport’s law enforcement leader. Dove earned approximately 54 percent of the vote, while Hatem got nearly 47 percent.
Dove had announced his intention to run for mayor in June, soon after current mayor Robert Howard said he would not seek re-election.
Oak Island will also have a new city leader, with Southport’s tourism director, Cindy Brochure, coming out with approximately 41 percent of the votes against three other candidates for the seat left vacant by longtime mayor Betty Wallace, who opted not to vie for another term. Brochure received 780 votes, just 136 more than exterminator Bill Moyer. Retired engineer, businessman and educator Darrell Vickers, who ran unsuccessfully for a council seat in 2013, garnered 362, and real estate agent Richard D’Anjolell had 91.
In one of the most contested races in Brunswick County, Jeff Winecoff was able to keep his post as Oak Island council member, receiving 835 votes, or about 16 percent, while Danny Kiser lost his place on the the board.
The two incumbents faced off against five newcomers for three seats on council. Councilwoman Carol Painter did not seek re-election.
Following Tuesday night’s results, Winecoff will be joined on the board by Charlie Blalock–who received the most votes, 1,238–and Sheila Mansfield Bell, who came in second with 1,137. Winecoff had 835.
In addition to Kiser, Tim Pittman, Helen Cashwell and Bob Lloyd lost out to the three winning candidates.
In Southport, business owner Rick Pukenas unseated Jim Powell on the board of aldermen with nearly 32 percent of the vote. Pukenas received just 20 more votes than Powell’s 570. Jwantana Frink, a former alderman, received 502 and Alex Shovlowsky, 179.
Incumbent Todd Coring easily won a return to his post over real estate agent Mark Spencer. The candidates received 783 and 267 votes, respectively.
And the seat left vacant by the passing of Meezie Childs will be filled by Karen Mosteller, currently a member of Southport’s planning board, who beat former town clerk Regina Alexander by a mere 29 votes.
Hilary Snow is a reporter at Port City Daily. Reach her at email@example.com.