New Hanover County Election Results


Casey McAnarney | The Seahawk

New Hanover County held elections Nov. 7 and the results are in.

Casey McAnarney, Editor-in-Chief

Elections took place last Tuesday, Nov. 7, across the country, allowing for new and old politicians to vie for positions in local, state and national politics.  For New Hanover County elections, results are in with some incumbents reclaiming their positions and new politicians assuming roles as Wilmington public officials.

In the mayoral race, incumbent Bill Saffo won with 85 percent of the vote and a total of 8,894 votes. Political newcomer and Saffo’s only competition, Todd Zola, earned 13 percent with 1,353 votes. Saffo has been the mayor of Wilmington for 10 years and will be up for reelection in 2019. Prior to being mayor, he was first elected to Wilmington City Council in 2003.

The three open seats in the Wilmington City Council went to Kevin O’Grady, Charlie Rivenbark, Clifford D. Barnett. O’Grady won the most votes, earning 17 percent with 4,897 votes, and Charlie Rivenbark came in second with 16 percent and a total of 4,684 votes. O’Grady and Rivenbark are both incumbents of the city council.

Barnett earned the third open seat, winning 15 percent and 4,412 total votes. Barnett has never held public office before but has been involved in other aspects of the local community. He won a Razor Walker Award, which is given out by UNCW to members of the community. Deb Hays was close to Barnett, also earning 15 percent of the vote; however, Hays had 4,317 total votes.

Elsewhere in New Hanover County, local elections were held for open positions in Carolina, Kure and Wrightsville Beaches.

The Carolina Beach mayoral race had two candidates: Joe Benson and Dan Wilcox. Benson won the position with 55 percent and 827 total votes. Only one seat was open for Carolina Beach Town Council and that went to LeAnn Pierce, who earned 22 percent of the vote.

For Kure Beach, Craig Bloszinsky won the mayoral race with 81 percent of the vote. Bloszinsky had 456 total votes, and his competitor, Chris Hald, earned 101. Kure Beach also voted on two vacant seats for town commissioners, and John Ellen and Allen Oliver won with 27 and 26 percent of the vote respectively.

Lastly, for Wrightsville Beach’s mayoral race, Bill Blair won the race uncontested. He won 94 percent of the vote with 607 votes total. Blair began serving the Wrightsville Beach Board of Alderman in 2013 and has lived in Wrightsville Beach since 1987.

Two other seats were voted on for the Board of Aldermen. Hank Miller and Ken Dull won both with 34 percent each.

For more information on election results for Brunswick and Pender counties as well, checkout WWAY’s graphic on the 2017 municipal elections.