WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- After coming close to winning the seat outright during the November election, Derrick Hickey has been given a second chance at filling the void on the New Hanover County Commission.
"I spent a year running for the office of county commissioner, and I'm committed. I'm dedicated," Hickey said. "It was sort of very emotional not winning in November, and I'm just glad I have this opportunity."
After the debacle of nominating Melissa Gott for an open seat earlier this year, the New Hanover County GOP took time to consider its choices, creating a buzz in the room after Hickey won the vote over ABC Board Chair Tom Wolfe.
"What surprised me was that they actually had a democratic process and allowed the floor to vote unlike the last time with Melissa Gott, where they had five individuals," Republican watchdog Justin LaNasa said. "I was quite shocked and amazed, and I'm glad that somebody stepped up, and, be it the leader of the GOP or the executive committee, and decided that the floor should vote on who should be nominated."
Not everybody left happy after Hickey defeated Wolfe. Commissioner Brian Berger says he sees a rift growing in the party and in the County Commission.
"I don't think that Woody White and Beth Dawson are Derrick's biggest supporters," Berger said. "I think that Woody and Beth have been playing political games for personal ambitions and power as opposed to doing what's in the best interest of the citizens of New Hanover County."
The County Commission meets at 1 p.m. Friday at the New Hanover County Government Center to consider Hickey to fill the seat left empty when Republican Rick Catlin resigned after winning election to the state House of Representatives.