Election results: Board of Commissioners chairwoman voted out in New Hanover County

·3 min read
New Hanover County Government Complex on March 31, 2021.
New Hanover County Government Complex on March 31, 2021.

Results from Tuesday's primary election show that Julia Olson-Boseman, the current chair of New Hanover County's Board of Commissioners, is out of a job.

With 100% of New Hanover precincts reporting their ballot counts, Olson-Boseman came in third behind her primary challengers. The top two vote-getters in each primary move forward to the Nov. 8 general election.

Democratic incumbent Rob Zapple led the Democratic primary with 11,118 votes or 44.93% of the overall vote. Reached Tuesday, Zapple told the StarNews the outcome affirms the work he's done over his two terms on the board of commissioners.

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Rob Zapple is a candidate running in the primary election for the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners.
Rob Zapple is a candidate running in the primary election for the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners.

“To me, it feels like a vote of confidence in the work that I’ve been doing over the last eight years,” he said.

Coming in second, Travis Robinson won 8,048 votes or 32.52%. Robinson, who ran an unsuccessful bid for the board in 2020, said although the results were still sinking in, he's ready to get to work for the general election.

“The work starts tomorrow,” he said Tuesday. “There’s some competitive folks out there that are running from the opposite party, and there’s only two seats.”

Travis Robinson is a candidate running in the primary election for the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners.
Travis Robinson is a candidate running in the primary election for the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners.

Olson-Boseman received 5,579 votes or 22.55% of the ballots cast. Olson-Boseman was running for her third term on the board. The StarNews was not able to reach Olson-Boseman Tuesday night for comment.

In the Republican primary, newcomers Tom Toby and LeAnn Pierce will advance to the general election.

Meet the Republican candidates: New Hanover County Board of Commissioners Republican primary

Meet the Democratic candidates: New Hanover County Board of Commissioners Democratic primary

Primary 2022 Results: See live vote totals as they're reported Election Night

Toby won 8,838 votes or 31.55% of the overall vote. Toby said Tuesday he felt "incredibly humbled" to win the Republican primary.

Tom Toby is a candidate running in the primary election for the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners.
Tom Toby is a candidate running in the primary election for the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners.

Toby, a political newcomer, said his win shows there's an appetite for new leadership in New Hanover County.

“For a first-time candidate to come into this type of race and be able to win. It shows that people are definitely ready for a change," he said. "They want to see something different from what we’ve been getting from our elected representatives.”

Pierce won 8,527 votes or 30.44% of the ballots cast. Pierce most recently served two years as the mayor of Carolina Beach, becoming the town's first female mayor.

LeAnn Pierce is a candidate running in the primary election for the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners.
LeAnn Pierce is a candidate running in the primary election for the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners.

Joe Irrera is in third place with 6,540 votes or 23.34% of the ballots cast while Harry Knight won 4,111 votes or 14.67% of the vote.

The election will fill the spots of Olson-Boseman and Zapple whose terms expire at the end of this year.

All results are considered unofficial until the New Hanover County Board of Elections holds its vote canvass on May 27.

The canvass ensures votes have been counted correctly and required audits have been completed. During the canvass, election officials consider challenges to votes and process provisional ballots and absentee ballots received after Election Day.

The canvass process is required by law and is held after every election, according to the North Carolina State Board of Elections.

Reporter Emma Dill can be reached at 910-343-2096 or edill@gannett.com.

This article originally appeared on Wilmington StarNews: New Hanover County Board of Commissioners: Zapple, Robinson advance