Saturday, September 30, 2023

New Hanover Board of Election member steps down to avoid potential conflict, another resigns to run for office

The New Hanover County Board of Elections may see more than one seat turn over in the coming weeks. (Port City Daily photo / File)

NEW HANOVER COUNTY — Democrat Board of Election member Carter Jewell Hamerski has resigned; the county’s Democratic Party cited strict conflict of interest standards after Hamerski’s husband, Clayton, filed to run for the New Hanover County Register of Deeds.

Hamerski — then Carter Jewell — was sworn in for the 2019-2021 term in early April, shortly before getting married. She joined the Board of Elections along with fellow newcomer Republican Brian Calvin “Skip” Watkins, who said he has also stepped down to run for a seat on the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners. Jewell resigned in late November, prior to her husband’s filing.

On Facebook, New Hanover County Democratic Party Chairman Richard Poole noted that the party had nominated Derrick Miller and Andre Brown; county party officers chose Miller and the NHCDP Executive Committee ratified the choice this week. The North Carolina State Board of Elections (NCSBE) officially appointed Miller on Friday, according to Rae Hunter-Havens, New Hanover County Board of Elections director.

Under state law, the NCSBE appoints two Republican and two Democrat members to county elections boards with a chair appointed by the Governor.

Following Watkins’ resignation, the New Hanover County GOP will recommend a new appointee.

[Editor’s note: This article has been updated after Watkins confirmed on Facebook he had issued his resignation on Friday morning, as well as to clarify that Carter Hamerski resigned prior to her husband’s filing for office.]

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