PENDER COUNTY — Three of the five Pender County commissioners will face a re-election challenge this November, each facing newcomers attempting to change the Republican status quo.
The county is governed by a five-member Board of Commissioners, each serving staggered four-year terms on even number years. To represent a district a commissioner must reside in the geographical boundaries of that district. Once the seat is won, according to the county’s website, they are “elected to serve all the people of Pender County.”
“The Board enacts policies such as establishment of the property tax rate, regulation of land use and zoning outside municipal jurisdictions, and adoption of the annual budget,” the county’s website reads.
This year’s election has three Republican incumbents facing challenges from two Democrats and one member of the Constitution Party — founded in 1992 as the U.S. Taxpayers Party focused on “returning government to the U.S. Constitution’s provisions and limitations.”
All five current commissioners are Republican; few Democrats have won a seat over the last ten years.
District 1: Morgan Lashaw (D) v. David Williams, Jr. (R)
Newcomer Morgan Lashaw will try to unseat incumbent David Williams, who in 2014 beat Chris Medlin (D) with 55% of the vote. Lashaw is a young IT developer from Surf City while Williams has represented the 1st District since at least 2002, the earliest year found for that district’s election results.
Lashaw beat fellow Democrat Dorothy Royal in the spring primaries with 51.1% of the vote.
District 1 includes the beach towns of Surf City and Topsail Beach.
District 2: Carol Ann Johnson (D) v. David Piepmeyer (R)
David Piepmeyer first won his seat for the 2nd District in 2014 with just under 62% of the vote. He faces a challenge from Democrat and educator Carol Ann Johnson. Neither candidate drew a primary opponent in the spring.
District 2 includes the unincorporated community of Hampstead.
District 3: Peggy Lanier (Constitution) v. George Brown (R)
Current chairman George Brown has represented the 3rd District since 2006 when he narrowly beat Democrat Tim Baker with 52% of the votes. He faces Peggy Lanier, the first member of the Constitution Party to run as a candidate for public office in the state of North Carolina.
In the spring Republican primaries, Brown narrowly held off challenger David Fallin by 34 votes.
District 2 includes the unincorporated communities of Rocky Point and Long Creek.
Reporter Mark Darrough can be reached at Mark@Localvoicemedia.com