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Scalise Fills Hays' Seat On New Hanover County Board Of Commissioners

By Staff Reports, posted Apr 17, 2023
Accompanied by family members, Dane Scalise is sworn in Monday to fill the seat formerly occupied by Deb Hays on the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners. (Photo courtesy of New Hanover County)

Republican Dane Scalise, a Wilmington attorney, has filled the seat left vacant by the death of Deb Hays.

The New Hanover County Board of Commissioners on Monday voted unanimously to approve Scalise to serve as a county commissioner through the 2024 election cycle, and Scalise was sworn in at the start of Monday's meeting. New Hanover County Commissioner Deb Hays died March 25 of an apparent heart attack at the age of 64.

On April 13, the New Hanover County Republican Party announced that it had selected Scalise to recommend to the board of commissioners to fill Hays' seat.

“I am humbled to have been considered for this position and look forward to working collaboratively with my fellow commissioners to serve the best interests of our community,” Scalise said in a news release. “Deb was a very special person and someone I greatly admired. Her passion for helping others was at the forefront of everything she did. My focus is not in replacing her, but carrying on the service she was committed to doing for our county.”

In addition to working as an attorney and insurance broker, Scalise has served on the board of directors for the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce, Wilmington Downtown Inc. and the New Hanover Bar Association, the release stated. He also served as deputy commissioner of the North Carolina Industrial Commission from 2016 to 2020.

A University of North Carolina Greensboro undergraduate, Scalise obtained his law degree from the UNC School of Law.

"As commissioners, we are all very familiar with Dane and his commitment to public service here in New Hanover County,” said Board of Commissioners Chair Bill Rivenbark in the release. “While we are very saddened by the circumstances, we certainly look forward to welcoming Dane as he brings a wealth of knowledge, business acumen and passion to the board.”

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