Friday, July 19, 2024

NHC Municipal Elections 2023: Wilmington’s new council, beach towns see minimal changes

Port City Daily is posting the unofficial results from the North Carolina State Board of Elections from Tuesday, Nov. 7; it will be updated throughout the evening as precincts close. (Port City Daily/File)

NEW HANOVER COUNTY — Roughly 20.76% of voters turned out in New Hanover County to cast ballots for the 2023 municipal elections.

Of the 100,500 voters eligible to vote, just more than 8,000 ballots were cast during early voting and more than 12,000 showed out on Election Day, shifting some leadership roles on local boards and councils.

The City of Wilmington will have two new council members and one returning come December. Kevin Spears and Neil Anderson both were up for re-election, while Mayor Pro Tem Margaret Haynes decided to step down rather than return to the dais.

Spears, a Democrat, retained his seat, while Republican Anderson has been voted out. Though council is considered nonpartisan, it now has more Democrats serving than Republicans, with the addition of New Hanover County’s assistant district attorney David Joyner and Salette Andrews, a small business owner and Air Force veteran. They will join fellow Democrat Clifford Barnett and Republicans Charlie Rivenbark and Luke Waddell.

Mayor Bill Saffo also ran unopposed and is the city’s longest-serving mayor, now serving his ninth term. 

Carolina Beach leadership will remain the same, with Lynn Barbee securing another mayoral term; he was challenged by Michelle Alberta and won by 173 votes. Carolina Beach town council had two seats open, each secured by incumbents Jay Healy and Deb LeCompte.

Wrightsville Beach won’t face a shake up in leadership either. Mayor Darryl Mills won re-election against challenger Henry Temple by 92 votes. Board of alderman members Jeff D. DeGroote and Zeke Partin also ran unchallenged.

Kure Beach has a new mayor in Allen Oliver, who is taking over the reins from Craig Bloszinsky. Oliver, who ran unopposed this season, served as a commissioner and mayor pro team for two years. Incumbent David Heglar will retain his seat on the Kure Beach Board of Commissioners and will be joined by newcomer Connie Mearkle. Mearkle beat out Dennis Panicali, up for election after he was appointed last year to take over from Joseph Whitley.

Below is the rundown of 2023’s election numbers from all municipalities.

TOWN OF CAROLINA BEACH MAYOR (VOTE FOR 1)
Precincts Reported: 1 of 1
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
Lynn Barbee1,00149.90%
Michelle R. Alberda82841.28%
Chad Kirk1346.68%
Tyler McDowell391.94%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)40.20%
TOWN OF CAROLINA BEACH COUNCIL MEMBER (VOTE FOR 2)
Precincts Reported: 1 of 1
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
Deb LeCompte1,62746.49%
Jay Healy1,26336.09%
Danny McLaughlin51414.69%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)962.74%
TOWN OF KURE BEACH MAYOR (VOTE FOR 1)
Precincts Reported: 1 of 1
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
Allen Oliver53589.17%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)6510.83%
TOWN OF KURE BEACH BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS (VOTE FOR 2)
Precincts Reported: 1 of 1
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
Connie Mearkle43131.05%
David Heglar41029.54%
Dennis Panicali30421.90%
Tracy Mitchell24117.36%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)20.14%
CITY OF WILMINGTON MAYOR (VOTE FOR 1)
Precincts Reported: 25 of 25
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
Bill Saffo12,01089.53%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)1,40410.47%
CITY OF WILMINGTON COUNCIL MEMBER (VOTE FOR 3)
Precincts Reported: 25 of 25
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
David Joyner8,53817.41%
Salette Andrews8,09916.51%
Kevin Spears7,98216.27%
Neil Anderson7,06414.40%
John D. Lennon7,00314.28%
Kathryn Bruner6,04212.32%
Marlowe Foster4,2458.65%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)780.16%
TOWN OF WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH MAYOR (VOTE FOR 1)
Precincts Reported: 1 of 1
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
Darryl Mills47055.23%
Henry Temple37844.42%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)30.35%
TOWN OF WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH ALDERMAN (VOTE FOR 2)
Precincts Reported: 1 of 1
View Contest Details
NAME ON BALLOTPARTYBALLOT COUNTPERCENT
Jeff D. DeGroote66451.39%
Zeke Partin55342.80%
Write-In (Miscellaneous)755.80%

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Shea Carver
Shea Carver
Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington. When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.

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