General Election Filing Ends

By Cece Nunn, posted Dec 20, 2019
Election filing ended at noon Friday, and the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners race has a large field of candidates.

Six Democrats, including incumbent Jonathan Barfield, and nine Republicans are vying for three seats.

Current commissioners Woody White and Pat Kusek, both Republicans, declined to run again. 

The Republicans who filed are former commissioner Skip Watkins, Wilmington Planning Commission member Deb Hays, Bill Rivenbark, Harry Knight, Frank Meares, Matt Rhodes, Joe Irrera, Ricky Meeks and John Lyon.

The list of Democrats who have filed for the commissioners' race also includes Leslie Cohen, Stephen Miller, former Wilmington Mayor Don Betz, Kyle Horton and Travis Robinson, according to the New Hanover County Board of Elections candidate report Friday afternoon.

The new county board members will join two commissioners who will serve for two more years: Julia Olson-Boseman, who is the chairwoman of the board and a Democrat, and Rob Zapple, also a Democrat.

The potential sale or other change for the county-owned New Hanover Regional Medical Center, the area's largest employer, is an issue in the election. Officials will consider proposals from outside health systems interested in buying, managing or partnering with the hospital, as well as other models, including no change.

Other issues could include Project Grace, a potential redevelopment of the county-owned block in downtown Wilmington that includes the main branch of the county's public library, a potential redevelopment of the county government center and funding for Wave Transit.

Among other races in 2020 are state House and state Senate seats.

Sen. Harper Peterson (D-New Hanover) and Michael Lee, a Republican, are running for the state’s District 9 seat. It will be a rematch for the two after Peterson won Lee's seat in the 2018 election.

For the District 20 seat, Rep. Ted Davis, who was drawn out of District 19 for the upcoming election, and Justin LaNasa are vying for the Republican slot on the ballot while Democrat Adam Ericson also filed.  

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