Incumbents Estep, Nichols among primary winners for New Hanover School Board seats

Incumbents Estep, Nichols among primary winners for New Hanover School Board seats
Six candidates won nominations for Board of Education seats in New Hanover County in Tuesday's primary elections. (Source: WECT)

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Incumbents Lisa Estep and Jeannette Nichols won two of the three Republican nominations in Tuesday's primary for New Hanover County Board of Education.

Estep was the leading vote-getter in the Republican primary with 16,039 votes, followed by political newcomer David Wortman at 13,490 and Nichols at 13,335. Frank Christopher Meares finished fourth in the race.

Estep said she appreciates the opportunity to move forward in the district, especially on projects like the Career and Technical Education program.

On the Democratic side, retired educator Emma Saunders led the balloting with 13, 346 votes. Political newcomers Sandra Leigh (12,441 votes) and Kevin Spears (9,905 votes) finished second and third to secure nominations for the November General Election.

Saunders said county-wide Pre-K is one of the changes she would like to see in the district.

"If you come missing Pre-K, then you miss a vital part of your education," Saunders said. "You have to learn social skills. You have to learn academic skills. There are other children who have been in school during the Pre-K phase, and you have the group that has not been. So they have to catch up. Some of them never catch up."

The results of Tuesday's elections are not official until they are canvassed on March 22.

There will be at least one new member of the Board of Education, with incumbent Tammy Covil choosing not to run for re-election in 2016.

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