Thursday, October 6, 2022

Beaulieu undecided on recount as Bosch declared winner in school board primary

NEW HANOVER COUNTY — After the election canvass Friday, New Hanover County Board of Education Democratic candidate Jennah Bosch rose two votes ahead of sitting member Nelson Beaulieu. The margins are close enough for Beaulieu to request a recount, but he said as of Friday he is undecided.

As unofficial results came in election day, Bosch appeared three votes behind her incumbent competitor. The board of elections met Thursday and held its canvass Friday — during which, it tallies provisional and mail-in ballots — and Bosch came out two points ahead of Beaulieu with 7,375 votes. Both contenders scored 16.28% of ballots cast in their primary.

An unsuccessful candidate can demand a recount when margins are less than 1%. Beaulieu has until Tuesday at 5 p.m. to do so. Reached Friday, he said he is taking the weekend to think it over with his family. He expressed his happiness for Bosch and desire to do “what’s best for the Democratic Party.”

“Every second counts as you get closer to November,” Beaulieu said. “I really believe that we need good candidates in the fall. I know Jennah is a good candidate, and I want to make sure that she has the time to get her message and her name out there, and as a first-time candidate that can be difficult. At the same time, I do want to show the respect to my voters and the faith that they placed in me. So, it’s a tough decision.”

Beaulieu said he admires Bosch’s campaign ethics and integrity and is behind her mental health-centric platform, especially coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“She’s got a good heart,” he said. “She’s in it for the right reasons, as far as I can tell.”

After the tight results were revealed, Bosch acknowledged she campaigned without a team or an incumbent advantage. She said she intended to reach more voters and get her face out more if she remained in the race.

“I am so thankful for all of the support I’ve been shown,” Bosch said Friday. “The fact that people I don’t know voted for me and have the confidence in me to advocate for our students, teachers and staff based on my message and what I can bring to the board is overwhelming. I am privileged to be the voice that brings the mental health of our schools and all they encompass more to the forefront, and to start those hard conversations within schools and communities.”

Four seats are up for grabs on the New Hanover County Board of Education in 2022. Chris Sutton was knocked out of the election with the clear lowest number of supporters in the Republican primary.

Democrat Veronica McLaurin-Brown and Republican Pat Bradford both came out on top for their respective parties and raised the most campaign cash in the first quarter. Also running in the fall are Democrats Dorian Cromartie and incumbent Judy Justice and Republicans Melissa Mason, Josie Barnhart and sitting member Pete Wildeboer.

The four winners in November will join chair Stephanie Kraybill, vice chair Stephanie Walker and board member Hugh McManus.

Reach journalist Alexandria Sands at or @alexsands_

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Alexandria Sands
Alexandria Sands is a journalist covering New Hanover County and education. Before Port City Daily, she reported for the award-winning State Port Pilot in Southport. She graduated from UNC Charlotte and wrote for several Charlotte publications while there. When not writing, Williams is most likely in the gym, reading or spending time with her Golden Pyrenees. Reach her at or on Twitter @alexsands_

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