WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Leslie Cohen announced Tuesday evening she plans to run for a seat on the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners in 2020.
Cohen will be a candidate for the three open seats on the board. Incumbents Woody White and Pat Kusek have already announced they do not plan to run for re-election. Chairman Jonathan Barfield says he plans to run for another term.
Cohen and her husband moved to Wilmington from the Atlanta area about six years ago. She won the Democratic Party nomination last year in the race for the District 20 seat in the state House of Representatives but lost to incumbent Holly Grange in the General Election.
"Over and over again in 2018 I said that I was tired of leaders who either didn't know, or didn't care, that the decisions they're making effect real people,” Cohen said prior to making her announcement. “I don't think there is anywhere in this state where that is more true than the New Hanover County Commissioners right now."
When asked about one of the main issues county commissioners are dealing with currently, Cohen said she is adamantly opposed to selling New Hanover Regional Medical Center to a for-profit entity. However, she added that she needs more information before forming an opinion on what the best future path would be for the county’s largest employer and provider of healthcare. Cohen also said she believes the protecting the environment would be her top priority, since she believes it impacts many other facets of citizens’ lives.
"The environment is always going to be a top issue because of where we live, and the fact is, if we can't open our windows and let the breeze come in, and if we can't drink our water, nothing else matters,” she said. “All of the growth we're talking about in New Hanover County, none of that is going to happen if we don’t have this beautiful environment that we all love so much."
The filing period for candidates wanting to run in the 2020 elections begins at Noon on Monday, December 2, and ends at Noon on Friday, December 20. The primary elections will be held on Super Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020, with the General Election scheduled for Tuesday, November 3. 2020.