Election Day breakdown, the big races to watch - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Election Day breakdown, the big races to watch

NORTH CAROLINA (WECT) – It's Election Day in North Carolina! Polls opened at 6:30 a.m. and will close at 7:30 p.m. If you are in line at 7:30 p.m. you will be allowed to vote.

Click here to see results as they come in.

While a municipal election doesn't typically draw the number of voters as a presidential election or a mid-term, they are just as important. This is a chance for citizens to choose who will make decisions in their specific areas.

Voters in North Carolina will make their choices Tuesday for mayor and council members across the state. There will also be other decisions on the ballot in some communities.

Here's a look at some of the major races WECT and Fox Wilmington will be keeping tabs on throughout the election.

BLADEN COUNTY

Residents in Bladenboro will see an opportunity to potentially change the current council-manager form of government to a mayor-city form.

Under the current format, the town manager is hired by the town council and works for the town. The duties are set by the North Carolina General Statue 160A-148.

If a mayor-council form is approved, council will vote whether or not to hire a town administrator; and the town manager position, currently held by Delane Jackson, could be eliminated.

BRUNSWICK COUNTY

There are a few races in Brunswick County that are gaining attention – two mayoral races and one race for city council.

In Oak Island: Voters will have several choices to pick from when they head to the polls. Incumbent Betty Wallace is facing two challengers: Charles Warren and Scott Coe.

In Navassa: Incumbent Eulis Willis is up against Councilman Jerry Merrick in the race for mayor.

In Sunset Beach: Voters will choose three of six candidates to fill city council seats, including Mayor Rich Cerrato.

COLUMBUS COUNTY

Voters in Fair Bluff, Chadbourn and Tabor City will get the chance Tuesday to approve or deny the sale of liquor in restaurants.

Town officials in Tabor City say several people have asked about the ban of liquor sales at restaurants, so they wanted the final decision to be up to the voters.

Leaders believe passing the referendum could help boost the local economy and would give them another recruiting tool to bring in more restaurants.

NEW HANOVER COUNTY

The big races in New Hanover County surround the mayoral race in Carolina Beach and the competition for a seat on Wilmington City Council.

Carolina Beach Mayor

Dan Wilcox is challenging Incumbent Bob Lewis for the Carolina Beach Mayor title.

Lewis was elected to his first term on town council in 2009 and was appointed mayor in 2012 after Ray Rothrock stepped down.

Wilcox served one four-year term on town council after being elected in 2007 and ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 2011 against Rothrock.

Both men agree on several issues, including improving the town's water quality as a main priority.

Wilmington City Council

Six candidates are running for three open seats on Wilmington City Council.

Three of the candidates are incumbents, Kevin O'Grady, Charlie Rivenbark and Earl Sheridan. The challengers are Derek Bickel, Felix Cooper and Skip Watkins.

The race is non-partisan, and there is no runoff possibility. The three top vote-getters will win the seats and take the oath of office in December.

PENDER COUNTY

Eyes will be on the mayoral race in Burgaw as longtime incumbent Pete Cowan faces newcomer Eugene Mulligan.

Cowan has held the position for about ten years, who said "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." He says his experience brings a lot to the table.

Mulligan thinks a new perspective and change will benefit the town. He believes it's time for a change and wanted to give voters a second option on Election Day.

Stay with WECT and Fox Wilmington for updates on these races and the final numbers on air, online and on mobile. Be sure to check out the WECT Politics section to read more about candidates running for election across the Cape Fear area.

Copyright 2013 WECT. All rights reserved.

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