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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The New Hanover County Commission, with a Republican majority, thumbed its nose at the county GOP today, when it passed on the party’s nominee to fill an open commission seat.

Earlier this week, County Commissioner Jonathan Barfield, the commission’s lone Democrat, said the GOP Executive Committee would chose New Hanover County 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 Commissioner Jonathan Barfield.

Hickey says the vote boiled down to just friends voting for friends. Hickey also tells us he thinks he didn’t get elected because he is Latino and the board is racist. He points to both himself and Melissa Gott, who is also Latino, losing the vote to an “old white guy” … Wolfe.

Chairman White says he would have gotten heat no matter who the board voted for.

Berger says the vote shows that there is definitely a rift in the New Hanover County Republican Party.

Wolfe acknowledged after the vote that he was just one of many qualified candidates, including Hickey, but 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.

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15 Comments on "County Commission ignores GOP, picks Wolfe for open seat"

2015 years 10 months ago

Arrogant yankee? Yes, we all knew that.

Latino? Come on dude.

2015 years 10 months ago

One right-wing crazy on the commission is enough, we don’t need two.

2015 years 10 months ago

Enjoyed reading the comments here from the few on the executive committee who did not vote for Hickey. Especially the “destitute Latino background” part – something only mentioned in the CLOSED executive committee meeting. Hickey has been open about his Hispanic background. If you followed the board of education, you would know that. (And he does speak Spanish, so I’m not sure what the comment in Spanish is supposed to infer). His comment about the message being sent to Hispanic voters, regardless of justification, is one that they are not welcome in local politics. It is a problem the Republican party has nationwide with inclusion.

The comments here are reflective of the handful of people making them. Please do not believe that most republicans feel this way. Dr. Hickey has worked consistently for conservative principles. Those of us who follow area politics know this. It is clear there is an agenda among at least a few the sitting commissioners. Time will tell how it plays out for the county. Sadly, we lost an honest, well qualified leader to this county board when they ignored the party recommendation and did not approve Hickey. I hope this does not deter him from a political future. We need some leaders that do not stand to profit from their elected positions. Right now, we do not have them.

2015 years 10 months ago

Looks like we dodged a bullet by not getting another controversial leader on a board around here. His racist comment & sense of entitlement remind me of a lot Katherine Moore. …and we all remember what a train wreck, fiasco, & embarrassment that person was for the citizens in our community.

2015 years 10 months ago

Hickey has been running for office in New Hanover County for basically the last three years and I have never once heard him say that he came from a destitute Latino background. What a great example to set for your children – if you don’t win something that’s because the other folks are racist. Adios Dr. Hickey.

2015 years 10 months ago

Gott gets recommended by Amoroso and is rejected due to residency requirements.
The nominating committee says go with Wolfe
The GOP says go with Hickey
Berger nominates Hickey
The commissioners vote for Wolfe

They slammed

This officially makes the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners as big a side show as the city council and Mayor are to Wilmington.
We are truly blessed to have this much entertainment in this area.


2015 years 10 months ago

Every time a minority gets passed over, the race card comes out. Face it Bud………you just didn’t cut it.

Guest patient
2015 years 10 months ago

Hickey can be proud that more than 50% of his patients are Medicaid recipients? Wonder how many clients whiplash attorneys have sent his way. Need a hip mister 85 year old? Sure no problem.

Speedy Gonzales
2015 years 10 months ago

Cuando te convertiste en Latino Dr. Hickey? Si es así, por favor, vuelva a su país y deje de tomar empleos en Estados Unidos! Ah se me olvidaba, ¿puedo ver su certificado de nacimiento formulario largo. Muchas gracias.

P.S. I you can’t read this Dr. Hickey, Google can translate for you.

2015 years 10 months ago

I too had no idea Hickey was Latino. Gott didn’t make the cut because she lied when she said she lived in Wilmington but her neighbors only saw her during office hours. Now, Hickey claims the board is racist, the same day we all find out he is Latino. (looks italian to me, but just my opinion). Perhaps if Hickey and his wife would not have purchased the domain of Elizabeth Redenbaugh (which is really creep folks) and perhaps if he didn’t say that Rick Catlin endorsed him, giving the impression that Catlin endorsed him and no others, maybe Hickey wouldn’t come across as such a creepy dude. I agree with you folks, he’s an arrogant a**.

2015 years 10 months ago

Berger & Hickey: A match made in megalomaniacaland.
Too bad the children of NHC are stuck with that arrogant &^%&^%$%^# on the school board.

2015 years 10 months ago

Racist? Are you now a Democrat Mr. Hickey? Ms. Gott wasn’t chosen b/c of a voter registration controversy not race. Mr. Hickey you lost the election b/c the citizens of New Hanover County see you for what you are – and arrogant man with a huge ego. The Board didn’t select you for the same reason.

2015 years 10 months ago

At least Dr. Hickey has something to be arrogant about. . . Yale, successful doctor. Beth Dawson . . . washed up old hag. Woody White . . . ambulance chaser – no seriously, look at his ads all over the news websites.

2015 years 10 months ago

Dear Brian,

Your endorsement didn’t help.
I wonder why….



2015 years 10 months ago

I hope we’ve heard the last from Dickey. I never liked him because he’s an arrogant snot. I didn’t know he was Latino. His silly charge of racism doesn’t even make sense. It’s strained and pathetic. The endorsement by Berger is like a kiss of death.


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