Voters Head to City Council Polls, Slim Turnout Expected

WILMINGTON -- Registered voters headed to the polls Tuesday as J.C. Hearne and Pat Delair went head-to-head in a special election for the council seat left vacant when Bill Saffo became mayor.

At the VFW post on Carolina Beach Road, election officials said there had not been a huge turnout, citing that many voters had already cast their ballots in early voting, and that there is little interest in this election because there is only one race.

The polling stations closed at 7:30 p.m. Results are expected soon afterwards -- though they will be unofficial until the canvass next week.

Candidates differ in views

While both candidates agree on the major issues facing the city, such as the troubled sewer system and guiding growth, Hearne and Delair differ in their views as to how the city should be run.

Hearne, a lawyer by profession, is currently serving on the council. He was appointed by other council members to fill a vacancy left by Bill Saffo, who became mayor in July. He had also served on the council from 1997 to 2001.

Hearne believes that his experience as council member and his ability to "get along" with others in the council gives him an advantage.

Delair, a local businesswoman, had previously run for a council seat and lost to Earl Sheridan by a slight margin. She has been critical of the city council, saying that Hearne and other council members operate in secrecy.

Delair believes a different voice with a fresh viewpoint would be a plus for the council.

Staff Report

WECT TV and WECT.COM will have the results of the special election as soon as they become available.