With candidate filing period over, more Dare County races on tap for 2024

By on December 18, 2023

Board of Education Member Susan Bothwell will not be seeking another term.

Now that the 2024 candidate filing deadline is over and the smoke has cleared, there are some other competitive races that will be on the ballot for Dare County voters next year. (This is an update of a Voice story published on Dec. 8 when the filing period was about halfway over that listed the candidates who had filed by that point.)

The filings between that date and the Dec. 15 deadline show there will be two additional general election contests to represent Dare County in the North Carolina State House. In the District 1 NC Senate contest, incumbent Republican Senator Bobby Hanig will face a challenge from Susan Harman-Scott, a Democrat from Nags Head. In the NC House, incumbent Republican Ed Goodwin, who represents part of Dare County in District 1, will face off against Democratic challenger Susan Sawin of Kitty Hawk, who chairs the Dare County Democratic Party.

At the Dare County Commissioner level, current Republican Board Chair Bob Woodard (District 2), who will face Democrat Katie Morgan in the general election, also has a Republican primary challenger. He is Christian Thomas Hayman of Kill Devil Hills. The incumbent Dare County Commissioner from District 3, Republican Steve House, has acquired a Democratic opponent for next November. He is Dennis Zaenger of Duck.

The last week of the filing period also set up some general election contests for the Dare County Board of Education. Aside from Carl Woody, who previously confirmed his decision not to seek re-election for the District 1 seat, another Republican incumbent on the board of education, Susan Bothwell, told the Voice she is not seeking another term as the District 2 candidate, citing personal reasons.

In her absence, there will be a general election battle for that vacant seat between Democrat Haley Carey of Nags Head and Republic Lisa Lloyd of Nags Head. In the contest for the vacant District 4 seat on the board of education, Republican Kenny Brite of Avon will compete against Democrat Heather Euler of Buxton. Republican Mary Ellon Ballance is leaving the ed board in order to seek the District 4 seat on the Dare County Board of Commissioners that opened up after Democrat Danny Couch decided not to seek re-election.

One other Republican incumbent on the board of education, At-large Representative David Twiddy of Manteo, will also face a Democrat next November. She is Melissa Zehner, a resident of Southern Shores.

SEE ALSO: Couch, Woody will not seek re-election in 2024. Some early takeaways from the candidate filing period.


  • Aida Havel

    Hi, Mark….Just to give the complete picture, my name is Aida Havel, and I’m the Democrat running against Mary Ellon Ballance for the County Commissioner District 4 seat (Hatteras Island). And for those who don’t know, County Commissioners have to live in the district from which they’re running, but they have to run county-wide.

    Monday, Dec 18 @ 8:47 pm
  • Clarification

    At the Dare County Commissioner level, current Republican Board Chair Bob Woodard (District 2) will face Christian Thomas Hayman of Kill Devil Hills in the Republican primary election. The winner of that race will face Democrat Katie Morgan in the general election.

    Let’s all hope it’s Mr. Hayman running against Ms. Morgan in November.

    Monday, Dec 18 @ 9:59 pm
  • High Density Housing?

    Mrs. Havel

    Thank you for joining the race. Good Luck.

    What is your position on the efforts of the current Dare County commissioners to increase housing density throughout Dare County and also spend $35 million of taxpayer’s money on general occupancy housing projects that would allow non-local people (including retired seniors on fixed incomes) to move to Dare County and rent a subsidized apartment at the beach?

    Tuesday, Dec 19 @ 9:54 am
  • ColleenOBX

    I am always surprised when newcomers head right to the high dive. How about starting small and growing your knowledge base? Go to every Town meeting, serve on a few boards, learn the ins and outs, the players, the trouble-makers, policies & procedures, how Town rules play into state rules, figure out Robert’s Rules… SMH.

    Tuesday, Dec 19 @ 10:24 am
  • Rocky the Rockfish

    I just hope Woodard is not elected again.
    He acts like he is the head of a Southern plantation and disdains the working people of this county.

    Tuesday, Dec 19 @ 7:14 pm
  • Dan-O

    ColleenOBX…you are spot on. When congresspersons or senators or governors do something really arrogant, self-important, corrupt or stupid, I tell people: “See the big mouth schmucks serving on your town councils and county commissions and boards of education? That’s where the Bob Menendezes, John Fettermans, Nancy Pelosis and Mitch McConnells cut their teeth. Now you know where they get their hubris.”

    Wednesday, Dec 20 @ 7:38 am
  • Knows The Truth

    @ Rocky the Rockfish
    I am a little confused by your comment. Bob Woodard is one of the hardest working people that I know. He sold insurance on a commission basis. If he did not produce, then he and his family did not eat.

    While working well over 40 hours a week, he also worked hard at serving the community on a litany of different boards and organizations. Before serving as the Chairman of the Board for the Dare County Commissioners he served as the Chairman of the Albemarle Commission (A non-paid position) during a time they did not have an Executive Director. Creating hours of additional work for him and weekly trips to Edenton. He did this without complaining so that transportation, senior services, and workforce development would not stop for Dare County. That is a big part of the reason he was elected Chairman when the Republicans took over the board.

    This is just one example of the many things Chairman Woodard has done for us without any recognition. He is a good man, and he WORKS HARDER for the betterment of our community than anyone.

    Wednesday, Dec 20 @ 3:16 pm
  • Terry Gore

    Everyone is entitled to vote for whomever they would like. However, I proudly support Bob Woodard in the upcoming primary and general elections.

    Bob has done beneficial things for our county. Under his leadership we have seen growth at COA. There is a beautiful new building in Manteo. Students who graduate from Dare County schools get free tuition. He has made sure our beaches have gotten renourished. This keeps the economy of Dare County alive. He led our county through the Covid outbreak, issuing daily updates. He has raised the pay of county employees to a level congruent with a living wage in the area, while keeping taxes low. Under his leadership drug courts have been established in Dare County. This allows low level and first-time offenders to not have their lives destroyed. It also helps addicts get treatment and not incarceration. These are major accomplishments.

    He has been responsive to the requests of the citizens of the county. The watermen were not able to make a living due to the filling of Oregon Inlet. This made international television on Wicked Tuna. Bob took charge and secured a dredge just for Dare County. That is unheard of, but Bob got it done. Members of the community have complained about the rising cost of housing. Once again, Bob stepped up and got us $35 million dollars from the state. Who does that? The Chairman of our County Commissioners!

    No one works harder or cares more about the people of Dare County than Bob Woodard! More importantly he has been highly effective in his role! I say 4 more years!

    Wednesday, Dec 20 @ 4:02 pm
  • Aida Havel

    To the person who posted under “High Density Housing?”….nothing like a loaded question, eh?!
    Obviously, the biggest issue facing Dare County is both the location and the price of housing for local year-round residents. There are a number of possible carrot approaches and stick approaches which I intend to explore once I’m elected. Everyone is going to have to compromise, but there are workable solutions, and I’m determined to find them.

    Wednesday, Dec 20 @ 4:22 pm
  • High Density Housing?

    Questions concerning the efforts of the county commissioners to push cluster developments, ADUs, and other high density housing throughout Dare County are not loaded questions for the citizens of Wanchese and Manns Harbor. Likewise, questions concerning their efforts to build taxpayer subsidized general occupancy housing projects, that will be available to non-locals, are not loaded questions for the citizens of Manteo, Nags Head, and KDH.

    For many citizens of Dare County these high density housing projects are the most important issues that will be deciding the upcoming county commissioner races. Candidates should be willing to state their position so the voters can make informed decisions.

    Wednesday, Dec 20 @ 9:22 pm
  • Johnny Allen

    Bob Woodward has my vote! Good luck Bob!

    Thursday, Dec 21 @ 3:46 pm