Friday, September 30, 2022

Election 2019 canvass concludes without upsets; 2020 election season starts next month

Votes has been officially canvassed, but the region saw few upsets. (Port City Daily photo / File)

SOUTHEASTERN N.C. — Despite a number of close races in Wilmington, Carolina Beach, Surf City, and elsewhere, the election results, made official by Friday’s canvass, have not changed much in Brunswick, New Hanover, or Pender County.

Close races but few upsets

In New Hanover County, close races for Wilmington City Council and Carolina Beach Town Council both came within six votes. Both of those races were narrowed to just five votes, but both incumbent Neil Anderson in Wilmington and newcomer Jay Healy retained their leads.

Neither runners-up Paul Lawler or Steve Shuttleworth (both incumbents) have asked for a recount. There has been discussion of appointing Shuttleworth to the seat LeAnn Pierce vacates as she takes over the mayoral spot, including an editorial in the Island Gazette supporting the idea.

In Brunswick County, there were a number of single-digit leads, but due to the small voter turnout for some of the smaller municipalities, the margin of error necessary for a recount was very small (the margin is based on 1% of the combined votes received by two candidates for a contested spot).

There was one election challenge in Brunswick County, filed by outgoing H2GO Commissioner Trudy Trombley. Trombley’s claim fell outside of the jurisdiction of the Board of Elections and was dismissed, since the law she cited was not an election law.

Votes removed post-canvass, upset for council seat

In Pender County there were also several single-digit leads, including a two-vote lead for mayor in the Town of Atkinson; the canvass widened that lead to three points, allowing Elton Wendell Newkirk Sr. to retain a win.

In Surf City, it appears that numerous votes were discounted from the final— one of the only election results where post-canvass totals went down, instead of increasing.

In the mayoral contest, incumbent Doug Medlin held on to a victory by a wide margin over challenger (and current council member) Jeremy Shugarts. Newcomer Dwight Torres and incumbent William ‘Buddy’ Fowler both held onto wins for town council seats.

In the close race for the third of three council seats, the totals changed by only one vote, with incumbent Donald Helms maintaining his lead over challenger Kathleen Sumner, 453 to 439.

Election 2020

With election results finalized for the 2019 municipal races, there’s just two weeks until filing begins for the 2020 county, state, and federal elections. Official filing for the 2020 county and state elections begins Monday, December 2 and runs through Friday, December 20.

Stay tuned for free 2020 election coverage, including interviews with candidates for county and state offices, in the new year.

Related Articles