LELAND, N.C. (WECT) – Fewer than 170 votes separated the top four vote-getters in the race for Leland Town Council on Tuesday night.
With all precincts reporting, the unofficial results were:
Richard Holloman 1,883
Bill McHugh 1,835
Allison Dunlap 1,720
Jason Gaver 1,717
Nicholas Newell 1,061
Louis Harmati 538
Holloman and McHugh appear to have won the two open seats but the vote totals are unofficial until they are canvassed by county elections officials.
Bill McHugh lives in Leland with his wife and works as an attorney. According to his campaign website, McHugh graduated from Florida Atlantic University in 2007 with a BA in Political Science and Social Science. He earned his Juris Doctor degree from St. Thomas University School of Law in 2012. McHugh has a history of serving communities. His campaign points out his involvement with NHRMC during Hurricane Florence to provide meals to staff and families.
McHugh’s website expresses his support for the Leland 2045 Project. He also hopes to find affordable housing solutions for members of the workforce including teachers, law enforcement and healthcare workers. McHugh also aims to tackle traffic-flow solutions, saying “I will work to maintain a robust partnership with the Wilmington Metropolitan Planning Organization and NCDOT when it comes to the expansion needs of Routes 17, 74, 76, Lanvale Road, Mt. Misery Road, Old Fayetteville Road, and others.”
Founder and co-owner of The House of Pickleball Richard Holloman recently served as a member of the Leland Tourism and Development Committee. He and his wife moved to Leland in 2014 and now live in Brunswick Forest.
His platform is based on his vision of a “forward-thinking strategy for growth.” According to Holloman for Town Council, he hopes to shed light on the town’s budget process to increase transparency to taxpayers. He also hopes to attract high-paying jobs to Leland’s Innovation Park. Holloman is also a proud supporter of the Collector Street Plan, better connecting Leland to Brunswick County.
Holloman also hopes to implement quarterly meetings with other area leaders in Wilmington, Navassa and Brunswick County to nurture those intergovernmental partnerships.
Allison Dunlap lives in Leland with her husband and two children. She is the owner of Cheer Infinity Allstars in Wilmington. According to Dunlap for Leland, she also volunteers at First Fruit Ministries and leads a church service “for the homeless and victims of human trafficking.”
Dunlap’s platform focused heavily on supporting small business growth in Leland and maintaining low taxes by way of conservative economics. She prides herself on being pro-life and a 2nd amendment supporter.
Jason Gaver lives in Leland with his wife, daughter and grandmother. According to Jason Gaver for Town Council, he has a bachelor’s degree from John Hopkins University and previously owned and operated Mulch & More for four year until 2020. Gaver also co-founded VeteranBusinessConnection.org “to connect veteran business owners with their communities to help them drive awareness and business growth.”
Gaver ran for town council by focusing on issues like focusing on protecting natural resources while planning Leland’s future growth. His campaign website says he aims to foster a business-friendly environment with “reasonable regulations.”
Nicholas Newell is the the founder of the Saint Nicholas Christmas Foundation, a nonprofit that buys Christmas gifts for residents of assisted living facilities without living family members. He appeared on The Today Show last year after delivering gifts to over 500 residents.
Newell ran for office with the plan to freeze property taxes and implement an overhaul for first responders, including a change in payment, training and equipment. According to his campaign website, Newell also hopes to increase greenspace within the town.
Louis Harmati is a veteran, serving in the North Carolina National Guard and U.S. Army for 20 years. According to his campaign’s Facebook page, Harmati has experience working for the federal government as a contract auditor, a finance and accounting officer and an administrator.
Harmati says his main issues for his campaign involve the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge, growth and infrastructure. He hopes to find a way to replace the bridge and improve the roads throughout Leland. Harmati also says he’d like to see a better partnership between the Leland Police Department, the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office and the DA.
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