Iler holds off primary challenge from Sykes


BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Republican Frank Iler has held the District 17 House seat representing most of Brunswick County since 2009, when the GOP appointed him to replace Bonner Stiller.

But tonight he had a primary challenge from County Commissioner Pat Sykes. But it turned out not to be much of a race.

Iler took about 61 percent of the vote and beat Sykes by more than 1,100 votes. Iler says he is happy to move on, but it’s never fun competing against your own party.

This marks be the fifth time Iler has won the Republican nomination.

It was, however, an emotional night for Sykes, as she thanked everyone for their support.

As Iler inches towards what he hopes is another victory, he wants to focus on several things.

“Two big ones right now are school safety and water safety,” Rep. Iler said. “Huge for our area and for our state. And I want to think about mental health and opioid issues, which are tied together, as well as law enforcement. It’s all tied together there, and that needs a lot of work.”

Iler says he is happy to be moving on, but he believes in term limits, so he won’t be running for House District 17 forever. This fall, though, he will face Democratic challenger Tom Simmons.

As for Sykes, she will remain a county commissioner for District 3.

Only 10 percent of voters in Brunswick County participated in the primary election.

Categories: Brunswick, Features, Local

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