Republican candidates with educational background take top spots in NHC Board of Education race

Republican candidates with educational background take top spots in NHC Board of Education race
Four republicans are vying for three spots on the Republican ticket to run against three Democrats all hoping to fill three seats being vacated on the New Hanover County Board of Education this fall. (Source: WECT)

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - Three seats on the New Hanover County Board of Education are up for grabs this fall. Four Republicans faced off in Tuesday’s primary election, with the top three candidates moving on to face the same number of Democrats in the general election this November.

After several years marked by the Nicholas Oates, Michael Kelly and Peter Frank sex crimes scandals, three current members are not seeking re-election. Board Chair Lisa Estep, Jeannette Nichols and David Wortman’s terms expire this year.

Republicans Pete Wildeboer, Janice Cavenaugh, Frederick Fisher, Stephanie Kraybill ran in the Republican Primary to replace them and voters were able to vote for up to three candidates.

Unofficial results show Kraybill, Wildeboer and Cavenaugh filling the three spots on the Republican ticket.

Kraybill has served in local PTAs, as a substitute teacher and school volunteer.

“One of the things I bring is that I am a team builder," Kraybill said. “We can’t get this all done by ourselves we have to work together as a group so I think that is one of my number one things that I can bring to the group.”

Cavenaugh previously served on the board for five terms before losing her re-election bid in 2018; and Wildeboer calls himself an “experienced educational leader” having served 17 years as a teacher and 11 years as a principal in southeastern N.C.

Fisher is a retired registered nurse.

Stefanie Adams, Nelson Beaulieu and Judy Justice are three democratic members of the board of education not up for re-election. All three were elected in November 2018, along with Republican Bill Rivenbark.

Pending official certification of the results, Kraybill, Wildeboer and Cavenaugh will face Democrats Hugh McManus, Chris Meek and Stephanie Walker in November.

Copyright 2020 WECT. All rights reserved.