Windley and Wickstrom defeat incumbent mayors in Kill Devil Hills, Manteo

By on November 7, 2023

John Windley and Sherry Wickstrom.

There will be new mayors in Kill Devil Hills and Manteo after incumbent commissioners defeated the incumbent mayors in both towns in the Nov. 7 municipal elections. Overall, turnout for this “off-year” election in Dare County was 24%, with 4,387 voters casting ballots. That represents an increase over the 2021 numbers, when 21% of the eligible electorate, 3,490 voters, cast their ballots.

In Kill Devil Hills, John Windley soundly defeated incumbent Ben Sproul in the mayor’s race, winning 70% of the votes cast compared with 30% for his opponent. The verdict was almost as resounding in Manteo, where Sherry Wickstrom toppled Bobby Owens, garnering 63% percent of the vote to 36% for the mayoral incumbent.

In both races, the hot-button issue of affordable housing may have played a role. Windley centered his campaign on his opposition to Sproul’s 2022 vote to rezone the town-owned Baum Tract to pave the way for large housing project. In Manteo, while Wickstrom was highly critical of a provision dropped into the state budget that would have restricted Dare County municipalities’ ability to regulate some affordable housing projects, Owens did not express overt opposition.

In the race for commissioner and council seats in the six municipalities, several incumbents were defeated. And in a few cases, challengers proved to be the biggest vote getters in their towns.

In Kill Devil Hills, where three seats on the board were in play, incumbents Ivy Ingram (46% of the vote) and B.J. McEvoy (36%) were re-elected while challenger Michael Denny failed to win a seat, with 16% of the tally. The board will now select someone to fill out the rest of Windley’s term as commissioner, which will expire in two years.

In Manteo, where three seats on the board of commissioners were up for grabs, the lead vote getters were incumbents Tod Clissold (24%) and Betty Selby (21%). But a third incumbent, Darrell Collins, finished last with 12% of the vote. The third seat goes to challenger Hannah Forslund, who took 17% of the vote. Challengers Jason Borland and Michelle Lewis also failed to win seats, at 13% each. As is the case in Kill Devil Hills, the board will select someone to serve out the rest of mayor-elect Wickstrom’s term as commissioner, which expires in 2025.

In Nags Head, where two seats were up for grabs and incumbent Renee Cahoon chose not to run again, challenger Megan Lambert topped the vote, at 43%. Incumbent Kevin Brinkley retained his seat, getting 35% of the votes. T-Mike Morrison (15%) and Keith Sawyer (7%) fell short in their efforts.

Duck, where all five council seats were in play, was another town where a challenger proved to be a top vote getter. Kevin Lingard got 21% of the vote followed by incumbents Monica Thibodeau (18%), Sandy Whitman (16%), and Don Kingston (16%). The other seat went to challenger Bren Chasen (16%). In the case of another incumbent going down to defeat, Rob Mooney received 12% of the vote.

Two of the five council seats in Kitty Hawk were in play this year, with one incumbent, Lynne McLean, choosing not to run again. Challenger Dylan Tillett got 45% of the vote while incumbent David Hines garnered 35% to fill the two council seats. Finishing behind was challenger Ron Tumolo, at 17% of the vote.

And in Southern Shores, three of the five incumbents were up for re-election with one of them, Leo Holland, not seeking to retain his seat. Incumbents Matthew Neal (31%) and Mark Batenic (27%) retained their slots while Robert Neilsen won a seat, at 26%. Finishing out of the money was Mike Guarracino, at 16%.

Click here for full Dare County 2023 Election results from NC Board of Electtions.


Barnhill Contracting Company will receive sealed proposals for Manns Harbor – EMS/Fire Facility (EMS-8), Kitty Hawk – EMS/Fire Facility (EMS-9), Manteo – Youth Center on January 09, 2024. Times to be given on via addendum #01. See the following SCOPE OF WORK: BP 100 – General Trades, BP 105 – Final Cleaning, BP 205 – Demolition, BP 390 – Turnkey Concrete, BP 400 – Turnkey Masonry, BP 500 – Turnkey Structural Steel & Misc. Steel, BP 505 – Light Gauge Metal Trusses, BP 740 – Roofing, BP750 – Siding, BP 790 – Caulking/Sealants, BP 800 – Turnkey Doors/Frames/Hardware/Toilet Specialties/Accessories/Division 10, BP 840 – Curtainwall/Storefront/Glass/Glazing, BP 925 – Drywall/Framing, BP 960 – Resilient Flooring/Carpet/Base/Epoxy, BP 980 – Acoustical Ceilings, BP 990 – Painting and Wall Coverings, BP 1230 – Finish Carpentry and Casework, BP 1250 – Window Treatments, BP 2100 – Fire Protection, BP 2200 – Plumbing, BP 2300 – HVAC, BP 2600 – Electrical, BP 3100 – Earthwork/Turnkey Site, BP 3213- Site Concrete, BP 3290 – Landscaping. Scopes of work may be added and/or deleted at the discretion of the Construction Manager.

Bid Location and Time: Bid opening will be held in the Barnhill Contracting Rocky Mount Training & GPS Technology Room: 800 Tiffany Bvld, Rocky Mount, NC 27804. Time is as follows: January 09, 2024 at 10:00am and 2:00pm. Times per packages to be given on via addendum #01.

Barnhill Contracting Company will receive, open, and read publicly all bids received in person in the Training & GPS Technology Room at the main office and listed with the virtual viewing at the link to be posted on Barnhill’s Plan Room.

Bids will not be accepted from bidders that are not pre-qualified. No facsimile or email submissions are permitted. Sealed bids are to be hand delivered to the bid opening location noted above or mailed Sealed Bids can be delivered before 9:00am the day of the bid to the Barnhill Contracting Company Office at 800 Tiffany Blvd., Suite 200 Rocky Mount, NC 27804. Attention “Clint Hardison.”

The pre-bid meeting will be held in Person & Zoom Meeting on December 06, 2023 at 10:00 am at the Barnhill Contracting’s Rocky Mount Main Conference Room: 800 Tiffany Bvld, Rocky Mount, NC 27804.

The pre-bid meeting link can be located on Barnhill’s online Building Division Plan Room ( and below. A preferred brand alternates meeting will be held via the same link at the end of the Prebid meeting.

Bid Documents can be viewed or downloaded through Barnhill’s online Building Division Plan Room ( after 12/04/2023.

All Bidders are strongly encouraged to include opportunities for HUB participation wherever possible in their respective Bid submission.  HUB participation is a part of this contract and must comply with all requirements set forth in the Bid Documents.

The Construction Manager and Owner reserve the right to add pre-qualified bidders. The Construction Manager and Owner reserve the right to reject any and all bids. Should you require additional direction, please call Barnhill Contracting Company, (Clint Hardison – 252-802-0740).

Clint Hardison is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Dare EMS – Phase 2 Pre-Bid Conference

Time: Dec 6, 2023 10:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 823 9069 2985

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  • Clear Message

    The citizens of Dare County sent a clear message. The mayors of Manteo and KDH were both vocal supporters of the low income housing projects and both were soundly defeated. The citizens of Dare County do not want these taxpayer subsidized low income housing projects.

    These proposed housing projects would be open to the general public including non-local people and non-working seniors who would just create a demand for more services. The citizens understand that these housing projects will just make our local workers housing shortage even worse.

    Wednesday, Nov 8 @ 6:56 am
  • Get out corruption

    Hopefully we can get Bobby Outten and his 400k+ a year salary out. And bob Woodard’s corruption and back room deals hurting Obx

    Wednesday, Nov 8 @ 9:31 am
  • kdh backseat reviewer

    The reign of Ben has ended.

    Interesting to see who fills the open seats for the KDH commissioners. That will politicking at its finest.

    Thank you to those that have won and those that have lost for your civic work. Through all the acrimony and arm chair analysis, you at least tried.

    Wednesday, Nov 8 @ 10:51 am
  • Sully52

    I’m curious.
    What exactly are you inferring about “non-working seniors”? I happened to be a retired senior, pay taxes, and support local businesses. Am I some sort of 2nd class citizen?

    Wednesday, Nov 8 @ 11:06 am
  • Mark Jurkowitz | Outer Banks Voice

    If you are responding to Clear Message, you should indicate that so people can understand what you’re talking about.

    Wednesday, Nov 8 @ 11:39 am
  • Proud NIMBY

    I’m proud to not want any of this riff-raff in my backyard, keep it out of here and call me all the names you want.

    “Affordable” housing belongs on the mainland, near population centers.

    Wednesday, Nov 8 @ 12:07 pm
  • Clear Message - clarification

    Sully52, you are correct, “non-working seniors” is not the best terminology. Not all non-workers are retired senior citizens. Some are younger people who for whatever reason don’t work. It would be better to use the term “non-working people”.

    The point is that these non-working people who move into taxpayer subsidized apartments will just create more demand for services (Medical etc.) from our local economy which will make our local worker shortage problem even worse.

    Wednesday, Nov 8 @ 1:43 pm
  • Rocky the Rockfish

    Congrats to the new politicians..especially Wickstrom, whom I wrote would never get elected because she is not from Manteo. I’ve never been so glad to be wrong!!!!!

    Wednesday, Nov 8 @ 5:17 pm
  • RicknKDH

    Bye Ben…

    Wednesday, Nov 8 @ 10:32 pm
  • CivilServant

    Congratulations! A big thank you to everyone that was willing to but their name on the ballot.

    Thursday, Nov 9 @ 9:52 am