City Council candidates square off in WWAY, WHQR forum

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Submitted: Thu, 10/24/2013 - 3:36am
Updated: Thu, 10/24/2013 - 2:42pm

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — WWAY’s political editor Kevin Wuzzardo and WHQR’s Kate O’Reilly grilled five of the six city Wilmington City Council candidates so you have the best possible tools to cast your vote when you head to the polls.

“We’re doing a good job,” said Kevin O’Grady. “We’re getting the work done. We’re advancing the city.”

It was a debate of old school politics versus new school politics.

“I think I could bring a fresh new voice to council,” said Derek Bickel. “As a father of young children I think I’m in an authentic position to represent those hopes, needs, and concerns of families raising children”

A wide range of ideas bantered about by candidates hoping to represent the Port City.

“There’s a lot to love about Wilmington,” said Earl Sheridan. “I think it’s a beautiful city. I think it’s a nice, beautiful city to live in.”

But that hasn’t been the case of late. After a rash of gang violence the topic on everyone’s mind was safety, though not all agreed on how to mend the situation.

“The city council took a first step to it a week or two ago when they did the gang investigative task force getting those over hires,” said Bickel. “We obviously need to fill those positions that are lost.”

“We’ve got to stop the mentality that brings the young people to that point,” said Skip Watkins. “You know there are a lot of single family homes. We can’t put a daddy in a house but maybe we can put a coach in the field or a tutor.”

However there was one thing all candidates could agree on.

“Vote for me because I’m not a politician,” said Bickel.

“I’d like a chance to do it again for another four years,” said Sheridan.

“I don’t think I’m done yet,” said O’Grady. “I think I’ve still got some more on the inside that will come out.”

“If people are satisfied with the way council is running don’t vote for me,” said Watkins. “If they want a change please vote for me. Either way go vote!”

Charlie Rivenbark was the only candidate that was unable to attend Wednesday night’s forum because he had a medical emergency.


  • 11221 says:

    Mr. Cooper, Please remove yourself from this election. You may be a nice man, but you have reason what so ever to be in this election.

    As I thought, Skip Watkins came across extremely arrogant. I would vote for Ricky Meeks before this guy. What do you expect from Rivenbark’s hand picked buddy?

    Earl Sheridan’s only comments all night “can you repeat the question”

    Derek Bickel actually sounded ok and made some sense.

    Kevin O’Grady did a pretty good job.

  • Guestysucks says:

    Agreed. Not a huge fan of O’Grady the person, but he came in and actually did something. His responses last night along with Bickel’s were at least the most coherent and relative. Disappointed with Sheridan as I was hoping to hear a more informed answer from this incumbent….

  • taxpayer says:

    since 1989, I will not vote for an incumbent. It’s high-time we replaced the current Council members who are up for re-election. O’Grady is a tax & spend liberal who supported Saffo’s baseball stadium. Sheridan needs to retire.

  • guesty says:

    “I don’t think I’m done yet,” said O’Grady.

    I pray you are done.

  • truthseeker says:

    O’Grady is a clone of Saffo and even in the debate was a smartass when questioned about his support of the stadium. He tried to deflect his real intention of jamming it down our throat until we said no which I will do to him on election day. Watkins and Bickel sounded like they would be legitimate and please support these non incumbents.

  • Guest Reply Redux says:

    You should vote in Pee Wee Herman and his band of reknowns if that’s what it takes to oust the ones in office now.
    Had to believe, regardless of everything else…that no one is running against Saffo!
    Maybe he’ll run against himself…and get voted out.

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