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Candidate profile: Felix Cooper

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Getting to know Wilmington City Council candidate Felix Cooper begins by learning his real name. It's George, but he's always gone by Felix.

"My daddy only had one name, and his name was Felix. He didn't have a middle name, so I just picked that up," Cooper said.

The military veteran spends most of his time relaxing in his "Man Cave" inside a retirement community, but he threw his hat in the ring for city council. Wondering why?

"That's a good question," Cooper laughs, "and after a few months of this, I don't know why I did it."

Perhaps it is because politics are his passion.

"The only thing I know is local government," he said.

Cooper began his career in Raleigh. In the 1970s and '80s he served as New Hanover County Finance Officer before taking over as County Manager.

"I decided to leave the county and got this job in Key West, FL, as city manager," he said.

After keeping that job nearly a decade, cooper retired in Florida until his wife's death and a return to Wilmington.

He knows elections come down to more than experience; they often boil down to money.

"I don't think I'll get elected, because I don't have the funding and the publicity that it takes to get elected, but I gave it a try," Cooper said. "We'll see. Two, three votes maybe."

And he'd be OK with that.

"After I've gone through the forums and everything that's happened, I don't know that I'd do it again," he said.

Whether he wins or loses a council seat, Cooper says he will walk away a winner, because he'll walk with new friends.

"I've come to know (Charlie) Rivenbark pretty well and Kevin O'Grady. He and I've struck up a good friendship," Cooper said.

"City Councilman" is a title that would let Cooper work on improving traffic patterns and county/city relationships, but Cooper may be more content with his relaxing retirement community schedule and recent Jeopardy win at the retirement home.

The clock is ticking for City Council hopefuls. Early voting for the municipal elections runs through Saturday with Election Day Tuesday.

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