HOLLY RIDGE – The Town of Holly Ridge has a new mayor and councilman.


Jeff Wenzel will be sworn in as mayor Thursday morning at Town Hall and Tom Hedrick will take the oath of office as councilman.


The two are filling vacancies of the Holly Ridge Town Council following the Dec. 3 resignations of former Mayor Anita Dingler and former council woman Kelly Collins, who each had two years remaining in their terms.



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The town accepted letters of interest for anyone interested in filling one of the seats and made the appointments Monday after continuing the Jan. 30 special meeting held to conduct interviews the potential candidates for the seats.


For Wenzel, the mayor’s seat is his first time serving in elected office.


“I know I have a large learning curve as far as town issues go but I will work hard to familiarize myself with them all as quickly as possible,” Wenzel said.


Wenzel, owner of Above Topsail portrait studio, said he is new to political office but has business experience as well as leadership skills he brings to the board.


Wenzel said he had been thinking about running for the mayor’s seat in a couple of years but the opportunity arose earlier than expected with the vacancy.


“I actually started thinking that maybe in a couple of years I may run and attended the candidate forum and had started getting a grasp on the current issues when this opportunity came up,” he said.


Wenzel said he’s ready to get going once he his sworn in.


“I’m very excited,” Wenzel said. “I know a lot of the staff and they are good people and I’m looking forward to working with them and the council.”


Hedrick ran as a candidate in the 2019 municipal election and according to his candidate profiled he has been the vice chairman of the Town of Holly Ridge Board of Adjustment since 2017 and served on the Town of Holly Ridge Land Use Plan Committee since 2018.


Hedrick was not immediately available for comment.


Reporter Jannette Pippin can be reached at 910-382-2557 or Jannette.Pippin@JDNews.com.