Races take shape in Wilmington, NHC beach town elections

Races take shape in Wilmington, NHC beach town elections

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - The filing period for candidates in North Carolina's 2017 municipal elections ended at noon on Friday, and several towns and cities will see new elected leaders take office after the general election in November.

Bill Saffo will have an opponent in the race for mayor of Wilmington for the first time since 2011. Todd James Zola, an unaffiliated candidate, will oppose Saffo in November. Saffo will be seeking his sixth two-year term as mayor, having run unopposed in 2013 and 2015.

In the race for Wilmington City Council, incumbents Kevin O'Grady and Charlie Rivenbark both filed for reelection. Another incumbent, Dr. Earl Sheridan, is not running for another term. Seven other candidates filed in the race: Clifford Barnett, Hollis Briggs, Philip White, Caylan McKay, Deb Hays, James Ray and Perry Fisher.

Kure Beach Mayor Emilie Swearingen decided not to run for reelection. She filed to run for a town commissioner seat, where she served prior to being elected mayor in 2017. Mayor Pro-Tem Craig Bloszinsky, whose commissioner seat is up for election, decided to file to run for mayor along with Chris Hall. Incumbent commissioner Jim Dugan did not file to seek another term.

Carolina Beach Mayor Dan Wilcox will have an opponent in the general election. Joseph Benson filed as a candidate seeking the office. Incumbent council members Gary Doetsch and LeAnn Pierce both filed to run for another term and will face four others on the ballot.

Wrightsville Beach Mayor Bill Blair will run unopposed for another term. Alderman Hank Miller filed for reelection. Fellow alderman Lisa Weeks did not file to seek another seat and four other candidates are running in that race.

To see the list of candidates who have filed in the municipal races in New Hanover County, click here.

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017.

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