Commission passes on county GOP's nominee for open seat; selects Thomas Wolfe
 

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- With a Republican majority, the New Hanover County Commission thumbed its nose at the county GOP today, passing on the party's nominee to fill an open commission seat.

Earlier this week, County Commissioner Jonathan Barfield said the GOP Executive Committee would choose ABC Board Chair Thomas Wolfe to fill an empty commission seat.

But by Thursday night - supporters of Derrick Hickey swung the vote to the current school board member.

At Friday's special meeting commissioner Brian Berger nominated Hickey, but no one would second his nomination. Commissioner Beth Dawson then nominated Wolfe, which got support from Chairman Woody White and Barfield.

Hickey says the vote boiled down to friends voting for friends. “I think today obviously they chose to pick one of their friends over the wishes of both the New Hanover County Republican party as well as the wishes of the voters,” Hickey said.

Chairman White says he would have gotten heat no matter who the board chose. "We could have brought Ronald Reagan back from the grave and nominated him and someone would have been upset about that,” White said.

Berger says the vote shows that there is definitely a rift in the New Hanover County Republican Party. "Civil war seems to be strong, a little bit too strong, but there is a definite divide in the Republican Party. It’s certainly true here in New Hanover county."

Wolfe acknowledged after the vote that he was just one of many qualified candidates, including Hickey. He says he'll be ready for his new job come Monday, when he'll be sworn in.

Wolfe says he can legally stay on the ABC Board and be a commissioner too, but he will step down as ABC Board Chair and abstain on any alcohol-related issues commissioners may have to vote on.

Hickey also says he finds it interesting that both he and Melissa Gott are Hispanic and they chose “an old white guy.”

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I voted for Hickey, but will not be voting for him again. I am so tired of these guy every time they loose start whining about it was because of race, always wanting to play the race card. Hickey get a life and grow up.

Believe it or not it looks like Obamanisam has even come come to New Hanover county.Just like the bunch that runs Wilmington with the Holiday Tree and Holiday Parade.It is time for people to stand against this type of racist and atheist talk and actions need to be removed from our government and community.Put Christmas back in Christmas we do not need to bow down to a few who want to destroy what this country was built upon.

the guy seems just a total racist ! but i`m sure that will be fine with everybody just don`t let the "old white guy" say something like that or there will be hell to pay !!!!

What a whiner. I had the, um, "honor" of spending some time with that guy not too long ago, and he is a weird dude. Totally drinking the Tea Party cool-aid, didn't sound like there was a moderate thought in his head.

As a Republican, I'm VERY glad not to have him on our board.

Mr. Hickey,

I find it utterly politically disturbing that you are using the race card in your response to your failed attempt at getting the NHC commissioner's nod to the board's appointment. Who in the world would have thought you were Hispanic? I certainly did not. And I followed you campaign!

Interestingly enough, you touted your education during your campaign for county commissioner more so than your race. Does it mean you went to Yale because you are Hispanic too? Your playing of the race card is a sad day for your campaign and for the Republican Party.

As a political adviser, I wasn't that impressed with your campaign, but you got my vote and I hoped you would win. Now, I am glad you lost.

Nino Saviano

Both he and Gott are PART Hispanic.