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The news site of UNC Wilmington

The Seahawk

The news site of UNC Wilmington

The Seahawk

The New Hanover County candidates on your general election ballot

Signs for primary candidates posted outside of an early voting site. (Jackson Davenport/The Seahawk)

Voters selected several Democratic and Republican candidates on Tuesday, March 5 to advance to the Nov. 5 general election.

Several important votes are taking place this election season, including races for governor, state attorney general and secretary of state. However, there are also numerous candidates vying for a seat on the New Hanover County School Board and a position on the local N.C. Superior Court.

New Hanover County Board of Education:

Voters may choose up to three candidates in the school board election.

Democratic Candidates:

Jerry Jones Jr.

Jerry Jones is the co-founder of The Roasted Bookery, an independent Wilmington bookstore focused on inclusive collections and representing the work of people of color and the LGBTQ+ community. He attended Warren Wilson College for a bachelor’s in history, followed by UNCW for a bachelor’s in science for physics, and later a master’s in business administration. He has since worked as a middle school science teacher at the Girl’s Leadership Academy of Wilmington (GLOW). His website emphasizes a commitment to inclusion, sustainability and excellence. Jones aims to highlight the value of listening to the broader community. His website can be found here.

Judy Justice

Judy Justice is a retired educator who earned a bachelor’s degree from UNCW with a double major in history and communications. She served as an educator until her retirement, working both in and outside of New Hanover County. Justice worked in various roles including teacher, principal and central office administrator. Originally elected in 2018, Justice lost her seat in the 2022 midterm elections following a Republican landslide in local elections. She was also censured in 2022 for allegedly disclosing confidential personnel information. Her campaign centers around providing further resources to New Hanover County Schools (NHCS), as well as working against racial and economic segregation in the district. Justice also aims to support students who have been victims of sexual abuse and racial discrimination in NHCS. Her website can be found here.

Tim Merrick

Tim Merrick has served on the board of the Waldorf School of the Finger Lakes, a shuttered private school in Ithaca, N.Y., in the past. He has also worked as a chiropractor for 25 years. In addition, Merrick has traveled extensively, and has regularly interacted with non-governmental organizations. He hopes to fully-fund NHCS through both local and state means, providing students with resources and a safe learning environment — including school counselors and psychologists — and ensuring a respectful relationship with educators. His website can be found here.

Republican Candidates:

Nikki M. Bascome

Nikki M. Bascome is a staff member in New Hanover County schools. Bascome aims to increase communication between the school board, school staff and the broader community, strengthening fiscal accountability and ensuring that policy and curricula in schools is age-appropriate and accessible to families and staff. Her website can be found here.

David Perry

David Perry currently works as a software engineer at the Wilmington Corning Optical Fiber plant but has worked as an educator in the past, including at the Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, Mass. Perry transitioned into an IT career. He received a Bachelor of Arts in history from Gordon College, and a master’s in education from Rivier University. Perry believes in extending restrictions on transgender athlete participation to high school sports, removing books that are not age-appropriate from school libraries including those on LGBTQ issues, as well as eliminating diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) programs from the school system. In addition, Perry aims to replace Superintendent Foust for several reasons. Perry says Foust’s support for DEI initiatives and his lack of support for the liberal arts are among the factors that warrant removal. He also hopes to improve teacher and staff pay while cutting wasteful spending and establish a “Take Your Pet to School Day.” His website can be found here.

Natosha Tew

Natosha Tew has 10 years of experience as a first responder, and received a bachelor’s degree in parks, recreation and leisure facilities management from UNCW. Tew is the chair of the New Hanover County chapter of Moms for Liberty, a conservative organization advocating against curriculum addressing topics such as LGBTQ+ rights and systemic discrimination. She aims to improve schools by removing perceived Critical Race Theory (CRT) and what she dubs as the woke curriculum from schools. Her website can be found here.

N.C. Superior Court Judge, District 06C Seat 01

Ricardo Jensen (Democratic)

Ricardo Jensen is the current superior court judge for the seat. Governor Roy Cooper appointed Jensen to fill the seat on Feb. 9 to fill a vacancy. Prior to his appointment, Jensen had extensive experience as a public defender, including in the New Hanover County Public Defender’s Office. On his website, Jensen emphasizes the ability to understand the individual circumstances of all individuals that enter the court room. Jensen’s website can be found here.

Max Ashworth (Republican)

Max Ashworth has worked as a New Hanover County public defender for nearly a decade, following his graduation from Campbell Law School. Ashworth’s undergraduate degree is in Political Science from UNCW. He has been president of the New Hanover County Bar Association and was awarded Chief Justice Paul Newby’s Professionalism award. Ashworth hopes to focus on a restorative justice approach. His website can be found here.

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