WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Six candidates are running for three seats on the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners in the 2020 General Election. Two current members of the board, republicans Woody White and Patricia Kusek, are not seeking reelection to new terms. One current commissioner, democrat Jonathan Barfield, is running for another term.
All six of the candidates participated in the Greater Wilmington Business Journal Power Breakfast series on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020. The event was streamed live on the GWBJ’s Facebook page. Here are brief biographies of the six candidates, with information from their campaign websites and social media pages:
Jonathan Barfield is seeking a fourth four-year term as a county commissioner. He has served as both Chairman and Vice-Chair of the board during his tenure. He is the owner of Barfield and Associates Realty, LLC.
Leslie Cohen is a democratic nominee for county commissioner. She and her husband designed graphics for Fortune 500 companies before transitioning the business to fine art. They moved to Wilmington in 2013.
Deb Hays is a republican nominee for county commissioner. She works at Intracoastal Realty, and has served the industry as President of the Cape Fear Realtors Association. Hays is also a past Chair of the Wilmington Planning Commission. of the
Kyle Horton is a democratic nominee for county commissioner. She is an Internal Medicine Physician who also holds an Masters in Business Administration. Dr. Horton also worked as an instructor of medical residents at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Bill Rivenbark is a republican nominee for county commissioner. He is currently a member of the New Hanover County Board of Education and would vacate the seat if elected county commissioner. On his campaign Facebook page, Rivenbark describes himself as “a Wilmington native and retired entrepreneur”.
Skip Watkins is a republican nominee for county commissioner. He served one term as county commissioner from 2014-2018, before being defeated in his reelection bid. Watkins is an Independent Financial Advisor with Capital Investment Group, and also teaches Economics for the University of Mount Olive.