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NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Three candidates passed the 20-percent threshold to win the Republican nomination for New Hanover County Commission, but only two can advance.

Sitting New Hanover County School Board member Derrick Hickey and Skip Watkins finished in the top two spots.

“This is one of the most exciting things I have ever done. So far, the citizens of New Hanover County are making it worth my while,” said Watkins, who narrowly missed out on winning a seat on the Wilmington City Council last fall.

Chuck Kays finished just a couple hundred votes behind in third in the ten-man race.

Democrats Patricia Spear and Rob Zapple await Hickey and Watkins in November.

Comment on this Story

  • Disgusted and disappointed

    Skip Watkins should not be proud of that win. Whether he claims to have known about it or not, he campaign was caught red-handed cheating. An honorable man would not be excited or feel proud of the possibility that he garnered more votes than another candidate by silencing or changing their message. Chuck Kays deserves that spot.

  • Beach swami


  • trash

    Someone needs to check deeply into the attack on Hickey to make sure Watkins had nothing to do with it before he goes any further. I think he is hiding something.

  • BeachSwami

    Quick, get my shades. Those academic credentials are blinding. When I heard you speak at a forum, I would have guessed that you never finished 7th grade. But I guess the night school thing explains it.
    I will give you credit for your deep appreciation for irony. You talking about free speech after the sign incident I read about is rich. Good luck Captain Cotton Candy. Maybe it won’t be so bad having you. After you and Berger, could this party have any credibility left????

  • taxpayer


    I doubt the aforementioned author of the post you replied to took the time to learn about each candidate, but simply voted for the person they were told to vote for…if they voted at all.

    I will, however, give you kudos for lowering yourself to their level…a task which often leads to lower back problems.

  • ChefnSurf

    Never argue with a fool, they will lower you to their level, and then beat you with experience.


  • guesty

    Those watching might not be able to tell the two apart. Home field advantage.

  • Guest2020

    BeachSwami seems to be one of those people who want to have their cake and eat it too. He complains about the man being unqualified and then complains when the man makes his qualifications known. There is just no pleasing some people.

  • Barry

    This Kuebler fellow should have received a dose of reality with his dismal showing. Now maybe instead of commenting on anything and everything he too will fade from public view. Perhaps now he will wake up and stop embarrassing himself. But, I am positive he will not and that will be his choice. Just more fodder for some of us to comment on in this and other forums. I guess someone has to stand in for Brian Berger although I am not sure Brian is anywhere near done yet.

  • Beach Guy

    Does he live in a hollow tree and make cookies ? no wait a minute that’s the other guys

  • patsy cline

    If you have ever been to NHRMC Rehab on oleander drive which is beside Mr. Hickeys property, you will notice that he has towing signs called Snatch UM Tow service. On those signs instead of patients will be towed it states customers will be towed. In recent past he has towed numerous people from his property including hospital staff, patients and volunteers. Whether he is there or not. He doesnt need to be part of any decision making for our city.

  • Business Owner NHC

    I own a business in Wilmington, and parking can be a nightmare. To make matters worse, parking lots are expensive to keep up. I know Dr. Hickey, and know the situation with his parking lot at his office. Clearly you have your own opinion, and I am guessing that you DO NOT have your own lot. Parking that you pay for and upkeep is YOUR parking. It’s private. Period. Parking that anyone can park in is public parking. Either you pay a fee, or you pay taxes (which is your fee). I am happy to let others park in my lot, but they have to pay for it. I don’t pay to upkeep parking to have people not paying into my business use it. That’s ridiculous. But I would guess you don’t own a business, either. You are just another “I want something for nothing or I’ll whine about it” person. Your attitude is the one that has make us an entitlement society. And has made our country broke. Grow up. And if there are signs saying don’t park there, why are you and your customers parking there? You deserve to be towed, in that case.

  • Annie Oakley

    A “doctor” with little man syndrome! Anytime something happens that doesn’t go your way, you don’t stand up for yourself, you sick your wife the opposer. You had to have the biggest signs, and have littered our entire city with those god awful signs, another sign of little man syndrome. So, if you win, it’s not because you deserve it, it is because you gave everyone in the city nightmares! God help us if you win!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Crabby Patty

    What are you, three? This post is really funny. I assume it’s a spoof. I hope so. Because if you are being serious, we need to call the folks with the straight jackets for you. Hahaha!

  • BeachSwami

    Republicans really are the stoopid party. Watkins was the top vote getter and his only qualification is running the fair???? So the Republicans have nominated a carny to run the county. And I thought Berger was bad. What a joke of a party.

  • skip watkins

    BeachSwami there is a reason that our First Amendment is the Freedom of Speech and I will always defend that Right. Also the right to vote is a precious thing and I hope you exercised that privilege.

    But in order for you to know me better; I earned my BS in Bus Admin and my MBA from UNCW. I earned my MBA at night while married and running a tire dealership of which we were partners in. I am now a self employed Financial Advisor for the last 24 years. I also am a certified Economics instructor at a local college.

    As for the Fair, well I do that because I love to make people smile. I am proud to be on that Bd of Directors and to serve as the Manager. The Fair sponsors a scholarship at CFCC among other good works. We also volunteer with the NC Azalea Festival. I hope this helps you know more about me and perhaps you will vote for me in November.


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