Five seek appointment to vacant ed board seat

By on January 12, 2020

(Outer Banks Voice)

Five candidates have applied to fill the vacant District 2 Dare County Board of Education seat created when former Board Member Ben Sproul took office as the new mayor of Kill Devil Hills in December.

According to Dare County Board of Education Chairperson Bea Basnight, the candidates who submitted applications by the Jan. 6 deadline are Jen Alexander, Susan Bothwell, Kyle Eaker, Dawn Edwards and Harvey Hess. The six current members of the board will make the appointment and a discussion of the matter is on the agenda for the board’s regular Jan. 14 meeting.

Whoever is appointed will hold that District 2 seat until November 2020, when it is contested in the general election. And two of those seeking the temporary appointment, Alexander and Bothwell, are the two candidates who will compete for that seat in the fall election for a four-year-term.

One new circumstance surrounding this situation is the fact that school board elections are now partisan affairs, with candidates running with a party affiliation. As Basnight notes, since Sproul was last elected in 2016 when partisan elections were not in effect, there is no party affiliation required in making the temporary appointment to fill his seat.

But in this fall’s race, Alexander is running as a Democrat and Bothwell is a Republican. And while there are a number of factors that could determine the outcome of that race, it would likely be considered to their advantage if either Alexander or Bothwell received the appointment to fill the seat in the months before the election.

On the current board, Republicans outnumber Democrats by a 4-2 majority. The registered Republicans are Joe Tauber, David Twiddy, Mary Ellon Ballance and Frank Hester. The registered Democrats are Margaret Lawler and Bea Basnight.


Dare County Animal Shelter

Sealed bids for completion of the Dare County Animal Shelter will be received on February 11, 2020, in the Dare County Administration Building, 954 Marshall C. Collins Drive, Manteo, NC, for 01-Fencing, 03- Concrete, 04-Masonry, 05-Metals/ Steel, 06-Casework, 07-Roofing, 07-Caulking, 08-Glass and Glazing, 08-Doors, Frames and Hardware, 08-Overhead Doors, 09-Drywall, 09-Flooring, 09-Painting, 10- Specialties, 12-Furnishings, 21-Fire Protection, 23-Mechanical & Plumbing, 26-Electrical, 31-Sitework and 32-Landscaping.

This project will be bid and awarded in accordance with North Carolina law. Sealed proposals from Contractors will be received until 1:00 p.m. All bidders must submit for prequalification by 2:00pm on 2/3/2020. Bids submitted by non-prequalified bidders will not be considered. All bids will be opened and read aloud starting at 2:00 p.m. of the bid day. Bids must be delivered in person and on the supplied Bid Form and include a bid deposit worth 5% of the total bid value. Electronic and faxed bids will NOT be accepted or reviewed. All times are local prevailing times.

Information requests concerning the project shall be submitted in writing to: Alex Palagyi of The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company via email (

Bidding material, prequalification material, and complete plans and specifications may be obtained from the Whiting-Turner Building Connected site and will be available until the bid due date. All subcontractors are responsible for emailing Alex Palagyi ( for access to the Building Connected site.

The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company and Dare County reserve the right to reject any and all bids, waive informalities and irregularities in bidding, and to accept bids which are considered to be in the best interest of the County. The Whiting Turner Contracting Company and Dare County also reserve the right to require any bidder to submit information needed to determine if said bidder is responsible within the meaning of N.C. Gen. Stat. 143-129.

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See what people are saying:

  • wombatnc

    Can’t we please return to the days of non-partisan elections for these type of positions! It doesn’t make any difference; or at least it shouldn’t! Why do we have partisan elections for judges? If they’re force to campaign and accept donations to win those elections; doesn’t that make them more susceptible to corruption and favorable rulings to the biggest donors/political party?! Keep politics out of courts and schools!
    To keep “politics out of the interim position decision”, my vote would be for Dawn Edwards. She’s been a positive force within Dare County Schools for years! She cares about kids and has the right vision for the future direction of our schools/county.

    Monday, Jan 13 @ 11:38 am
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