Dan Wilcox has won a second term as mayor of Carolina Beach.
Wilcox was re-elected after garnering 850 votes. He defeated another former mayor, Bob Lewis, who received 574 votes. The same two candidates ran for mayor in the 2013 municipal elections, when Wilcox defeated Lewis by such a small margin (seven votes) that a recount was done to confirm his election.
In the town’s race other race, seven candidates vied for two open council seats. Incumbent Steve Shuttleworth was the top vote-getter, retaining his seat by getting 754 votes (27.98 percent of the votes).
“It’s a humbling experience to know that the public trusts you to represent them,” Shuttleworth said. “And it’s rewarding to know that they recognize the hard work that you’ve put in over the last four years.”
Tom Bridges, who was appointed to town council a few years ago and ran unsuccessfully in 2013, won the seat vacated by Sarah Friede, who dropped out of the race to spend more time with her family and career. Bridges collected 677 votes (25.12 percent).
“It’s kind of surreal. I’ve never won an election, so I didn’t know what to expect,” Bridges said. “Instead of being appointed, I’ve been elected by the residents of Carolina Beach, so now I have an even greater obligation to serve them.”
Bridges said that although he will be the newest face on council, he is confident he will be an asset to the team.
“I’ve worked with Steve before [on council], so I know that he and I can work together,” said Bridges, a retired school principal. “I’m certain that I can work with everyone else. I haven’t met anybody that I haven’t been able to work with.”
Shuttleworth said that Bridges’ past experience on council will make the transition easier.
“I don’t think it will take long for Tom to get settled in and get up to speed,” Shuttleworth said.
Wilcox, Shuttleworth and Bridges, along with Mayor Pro-tem LeAnn Pierce and Councilmember Gary Doetsch, will be working to tackle some of the town’s big issues such as water quality, infrastructure, stormwater reduction and boardwalk rehabilitation and extension.
“I’m just excited that I’m able to represent the citizens of Carolina Beach,” Bridges said. “I’ll do my very best to do whatever I need to do to help this island move forward.”