NORTH TOPSAIL BEACH l Some familiar faces are returning to North Topsail Beach’s Town Hall.
Dan Tuman returns as mayor defeating incumbent Fred Burns by a count of 107 to 91. In the council race with three seats up for grabs, Richard Peters retained his seat placing third with 112 votes. Challenger Mike Benson received the most votes with 147 followed by former Alderman Tom Leonard with 116 votes.
“It’s good to be back. It feels real good to be back and I will do my best,” Leonard said more than two hours after the polls closed and moments after he was declared one of the three winners. Leonard served on the board from 2011 to 2015.
With contested races for mayor and three seats on the board of aldermen, turnout was higher than typical municipal elections for the barrier island township Tuesday with 199 votes cast for the mayoral race or more than 23 percent of the 854 registered voters.
Glenn Edwards didn’t waste time to change out of his work clothes to vote late Tuesday afternoon. The Onslow Water and Sewer Authority employee said “I came to vote” when asked why he came to the polls.
By late afternoon around 4 p.m. with only 191 ballots cast, many candidates and some with their family members huddled in small groups in the parking lot of the Folkstone Original Baptist Church on Old Folkstone Road in Holly Ridge which doubles as an election precinct for voters from North Topsail Beach, Surf City and Holly Ridge.
Judy Reigada exited her parked car and engaged NTB Alderman Richard Peters who is seeking reelection before entering the pols. When the vote comes in, Reigada wants to see change.
“If we want to see real change, we got to start at the bottom. They’re stopping too many things. I’m voting Democrats in,” Reigada said.
Candidates running in municipal elections run as non-partisan contestants.
Election night results remain unofficial until a canvass of votes by the Onslow County Board of Elections on Nov. 17 is completed.
Reporter Mike McHugh can be reached at 910-219-8455 or email email@example.com.