As filing period ends, mayor’s races in Manteo and KDH highlight 2023 fall elections

By on July 30, 2023


There will be two mayoral races in Dare County this fall with the same circumstances in each—an incumbent commissioner is challenging an incumbent mayor. In Manteo, that contest will be between Sherry Wickstrom and current Mayor Bobby Owens. In Kill Devil Hills, it will be John Windley challenging incumbent Mayor Ben Sproul.

With the candidate filing period over as of July 21, there will be at least one competitive race for either mayor, commissioner or council member in each of the county’s six municipalities. There will also be the retirements of a few veteran incumbents.


In Duck, where all five town council seats are up for grabs this fall, four incumbents are seeking re-elections, two challengers are making a bid for the council and one incumbent is not seeking another term.

The council incumbents running again include Mayor Don Kingston, Monica Thibodeau, Sandy Whitman and Rob Mooney. The challengers are Kevin Lingard and Bren Chasen. (In Duck, the mayor is chosen by the town council.) The one incumbent who did not file for re-election is Anthony Schiano.

Kill Devil Hills

Three of the five seats on the board of commissioners, including the one now filled by Mayor Ben Sproul, are in play. In the mayor’s election, Sproul faces incumbent Commissioner John Windley.

Incumbents B.J. McAvoy and Ivy Ingram have filed to run again, and newcomer Michael Denny has also tossed his hat in the ring.

If Sproul were to defeat Windley for mayor, Windley could serve out the rest of his term, which ends in 2025, as commissioner. In Windley is victorious, the board of commissioners selects someone to fill the remainder of his term as commissioner.

Kitty Hawk

In this town, two of the five council seats are up for grabs. Incumbent David Hines is running again, but the other incumbent, Lynne McClean, will not seek re-election. The two other candidates who have filed to run for the council are Dylan Tillett and Ron Tumolo.


There will be a crowded ballot in Manteo, the other town that features a mayoral contest, one between Incumbent Bobby Owens and his challenger, Town Commissioner Sherry Wickstrom, whose term on the board is not over until 2025. As in Kill Devil Hills, if Owens defeats Wickstrom, she can serve out the rest of her term as commissioner. If she wins, the board will select her replacement.

Three other members of the seven-member board of commissioners are also up for re-election. Incumbents Darrell Collins, Tod Clissold and Betty Selby have all filed to run. They will be competing with Hannah Forslund, Michelle Lewis and Jason Borland, who also vying to be elected to the board.

Nags Head

In Nags Head, two of the five seats on the board of commissioners are on the ballot this fall. Incumbent Kevin Brinkley is running for another term, but the other incumbent, Renee Cahoon, did not file to run for re-election. The challengers for seats on the board are Megan Lambert, Keith Sawyer, and T-Mike Morrison.

Southern Shores

In Southern Shores, three of the five incumbents on the Town Council are up for re-election. Of them, Mark Batenic and Matthew Neal will be on the ballot. Incumbent Leo Holland will not seek another term. The other candidates seeking seats on the board are Robert Neilsen and Mike Guarracino.


See what people are saying:

  • kdh back seat reviewer

    Thank you for your service Ben

    Saturday, Aug 5 @ 7:13 am