After 24 years as school board member, Higgins responds to losing


NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Change is coming to the New Hanover County School Board after last night’s election results. A newcomer will advance to the general election after taking the spot of a longtime board member.

For the first time in 24 years New Hanover County Board Chairman Ed Higgins will not advance to the general election.

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“I am disappointed that I was not renominated during the primary. I have felt that I am serving on the Board of Education as a public servant and as my dad used to say, as a public servant you serve at the will of the public. And they decide whether or not you stay on the service or not,” Higgins said.

Higgins was first elected in 1994. He said he does not understand why voters wanted him out.

“For whatever reason whether it’s low turn out or there’s something that I did that disappointed people, clearly people have lost faith in my ability,” Higgins said.

Higgins said he wishes the board the best. Bill Rivenbark, the newcomer who received more votes than any of the school board incumbents said he’s excited and already has issues he wants to work on.

“Some of the things I would like to change is a communication problem I think we have with the board, between the board and the county commissioners, the state representatives, and federal. I mean that’s where we get all our money from,” Rivenbark  said.

Rivenbark now advances to the general election, but still has kind words for his one-time opponent.

“Ed, you know, no matter what anybody thinks about anybody Ed has served on there for 25 years I think and he’s owed a thanks and I appreciate everything he did,” Rivenbark said.

The other along with Rivenbark are three other incumbents Bruce Shell, Don Hayes and Janice Cavenaugh.