Trio of incumbents hold on to Wilmington City Council seats

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Submitted: Wed, 11/06/2013 - 3:44am
Updated: Wed, 11/06/2013 - 2:51pm

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington City Council will look the same for the next two years as it has for the last two years.

Incumbents Kevin O’Grady, Charlie Rivenbark and Earl Sheridan were all close at the top to hold on to their three seats.

Skip Watkins, the only declared Republican in this non-partisan race, finished about 400 votes behind. The other challengers Derek Bickel finished with nine percent and former New Hanover County Manager Felix Cooper got five percent.

Sheridan and Watkins were neck and neck all night for the final spot. In the end there was less than two percent between the two.

Sheridan says he won because voters are happy, but Watkins says it was a close race because voters want change.

“I think this is a group that has worked well together, and I think we can continue to work well together and try to do some things to improve things for our city,” Sheridan said.

“It was such a close race,” Watkins said. “It came down to a couple hundred votes, three or four hundred votes at the end. I think it was a movement that there was a recognition of change. Obviously, there wasn’t enough voters that wanted change.”

In his next term, Sheridan says he wants to continue to fight violence in Wilmington. Meanwhile Watkins says he’ll work on his next campaign for city council and be back in 2015.


  • Scott Pickey says:


    He could – but we just invited him over because you never know what he’s going to say.


    Scott Pickey
    WWAY News Director

  • SurfCityTom says:

    after last night’s results, and the poor voter turnout, he might be what’s needed to get voter apathy off the horizon.

  • guesty says:

    Who he will challenge to a fight. Because fighting proves who is right. No need for pesky facts.

  • CarolinaGirl says:

    After reading your comments, I have but one thing to say to you:

    Marry me, because your post was hilarious and once again I greatly enjoyed reading your words!

  • NCinmyblood says:

    Brian Berger running for office again would no doubt reduce voter apathy.

  • Guest Reply Redux says:

    guesty is a computer generated reply system…such as the HAL 2000 system was the movie…”2010″.
    Where would you go on your Honeymoon…Radio Shack???
    No offense guesty…just having fun.

  • guesty says:

    Feel free to take shots at me, I can take it. I won’t tell anybody you haven’t set foot outside in years.

  • guesty says:

    Sorry, I’m already married. Thank you for the complement and don’t believe Guest Reply Redux’s lies.

  • Guest Reply Redux says:

    “I won’t tell anybody you haven’t set foot outside in years.” (Unquote)

    My home (link below) for quite some time now…and no…I haven’t stepped outside since I pooted in my environmental suit, and blew a seam out!
    We all know when we pass over Wilmington. We can see flashes of light at night, near the Creekwood/Downtown areas…kinda like fire coming out of gun barrels. Have seen them a lot for the past few months…without letting up.
    What could they be????

    Wave “Hello” at us as we pass over your city early Saturday morn :-)
    Sat Nov 9, 5:09 AM 1 min 13° 10 above SSE 13 above SE

  • Wilkie says:

    Mmmmkay we get it. You have a crush on the guy.

  • Rick Wilson says:

    The lack of turnout for this election and the mayor running unopposed proves that the vast majority of people do not care…….This is why nothing ever changes. While I am most unhappy about the results, the people that were not too lazy to vote made the choices. It would be much easier to accept with a turnout of at least 70%.

    I hope that Kevin O’Grady does not try to resurrect the taxpayer funded baseball stadium. I hope that the mayor and council do not try to force public funding of the Convention Center Hotel. They have already wasted way too much money on a Convention Center that was doomed to fail from the start……….I hope the people that chose not to participate in the election will open their eyes and ears and choose to participate in the future. Nothing will ever change if the majority of the voters do not educate themselves………..AND VOTE.

  • SurfCityTom says:

    voters had the opportunity to make some changes. But to do that, they had to get out and vote.

    If only the ones who “blow hard” with posts about sending them all out of office had voted, the outcome might have been different.

    Now watching the “new” bearded Jason as a commentator caused me to wonder. Did his appearance signal an intent to run for office in 2015?

  • Vog46 says:

    The field of candidates was weak

    Turn out was very VERY low

    The baseball stadium is now what almost two years removed from our memories and voters have moved on to other things

    Most of the candidates agreed about violent crime in Wilmington being THE issue.

    Sure – it’s the same council, and Mayor.
    The votes spoke……( a very few voters) and we get what we deserve.

    Oh well – lets hope they don’t screw it up any worse than they have already.


  • disgusted says:

    I can’t believe nobody came out to vote these Bozos out of office.
    Just goes to show that nobody is paying attention.

  • Matt says:

    Dr. Sheridan is not a bozo. The man is a genius of political theory and government structure. Wilmington and UNCW are lucky to have a man of his intellect and knowledge base.

  • Josh Fulton says:

    Uch, it’s like people can do whatever they want and still stay in office.

  • Guest2020 says:

    Wilmington will now get what it deserves since no one cared enough to vote out the idiots.

  • guesty says:

    I voted for the 3 new people and wrote in a name for mayor. Unfortunately not many others did.

  • Guest Reply Redux says:

    1. A trio alright…Moe, Larry and Curley.
    2. Others *will never* do your voting for you Wilmington (Never)…as it was shown on Nov. 5th, leaving the worst apples to dance their dance of victory…so enjoy their company.
    3. This was not Obama’s fault.
    4. By invention of Penske moving vans…the wife and I don’t have to see our tax dollars thrown away on White Elephants the city council of Wilmington once again has power over.

    For a city that has so many financial issues with infrastructure, and a threatening crime force that so many citizens know could be dealt with from fresh ideas from different leaders…it’s obvious a majority of registered voters there…simply do not give a damn! It was trouble waiting to unfold from the beginning…when no one was running against Saffo. The rest was soon to follow.
    No…others will never do your work for you in order to help yourselves…and there’s no Calvary on the way in this story.
    No happy endings on the horizon. Your city will never change…voters will see to that.
    Congrats to those that tried to vote them out…a huge let down I’m sure.

  • Guest1221 says:

    I tried….what a letdown, not even 1 incumbent got unseated. Get ready for more of the same, Wilmington. And, if you’re one to bitch about how awful our city leaders are, if you didn’t get out, vote and try to make a difference, please hush.

  • Robert Green says:

    The people of Wilmington have spoken. They mirror the national trend of the acceptance of liberalism. The fact they could not seat at least one Republican is indicative of the mindset. Brace yourself for higher taxes , continued crime wave , low paying jobs ( i.e call centers ) and more white elephant projects. King Billy and His Court will have their way with the people in looking to fill their coffers. Right now annexation is off the table but they will look for other options to keep their cesspool ( city ) propped up. Sterling Cheatham is breathing a sigh of relief that his cronies are still in place.

  • taxpayer says:

    With Billy leading the way and Tax-em O’Grady and Charlie “I’ve always had the residents best interest but I’ll tax them as well” Rivenbark in his pocket…get ready to pay more, spend less, and complain like you always have. Except November 5th you had a chance to make a change…and you didn’t.

  • Guest1221 says:

    I did, too, with the hopes at least one newcomer would get seated and, perhaps, spark and spur some changes around our local government.

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