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Hanig resigns, Currituck GOP to wait until Jan. to nominate successor

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Currituck Commissioner Bobby Hanig

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By Sandy Semans Ross
Correspondent

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

CURRITUCK — Given the rush of the holidays, Currituck Republicans have decided to wait until after the new year to nominate a successor for Bobby Hanig on the county Board of Commissioners.

Hanig, who won election to the District 6 seat in the state House by defeating Democrat Tess Judge of Dare County on Nov. 6,  resigned from the Board of Commissioners on Monday. He is set to be sworn in for his state office in January.

Hanig’s former seat will now remain open until a replacement is named by the commissioners. That isn’t expected to happen until after commissioners’ first meeting of 2019 on Jan. 7.

When commissioners convene that night, the Currituck County GOP Executive Committee will also be meeting to recommend a county Republican to complete the remaining two years of Hanig’s unexpired term, said GOP Chairman Bryan Bass.

“There is a 60-day window for the party to name a replacement and, with the holidays approaching, we tried to schedule (the meeting) earlier, but there was no way to find a date that worked for everyone,” he said.

State law allows the political party of the person leaving during an unexpired term to recommend a replacement candidate. The Currituck Board of Commissioners may consider that candidate or decline the recommendation and choose someone else, although that is rare.

So far, four Currituck Republicans have advised the county GOP they’re interested in succeeding Hanig on the Board of Commissioners. They include: Selena Jarvis, Jason Belangia, Steven Craddock and Carolyn Bibeau.

The executive committee has already completed part of its due diligence of the four candidates, said Bass.

“Last week, we met in closed session to review the candidates’ voting records and other information,” he said. “Choosing a replacement is a long process that takes some time and the executive committee takes that (job) very seriously. We concentrate on issues and background — it’s refreshing — politics but not political.”

When the GOP meets on Jan. 7, it plans to interview the four candidates, Bass said. The meeting will be closed to all except the executive committee and the four candidates who have applied. Following the interviews, the panel plans to select one of the candidates at the end of the meeting.

“We will release the results to the press that night,” said Bass.

Hanig wasn’t the only one changing roles at the Board of Commissioners meeting on Monday. Commissioners elected Bob White the board’s new chairman, replacing Hanig. Mike Payment was tapped as vice chairman. He replaces Mike Hall, who left the board after losing re-election to Kevin McCord in the GOP primary. McCord was also sworn in Monday night for a four-year term as one of the board’s two at-large members.

Also sworn in Monday night was Payment, who ran unopposed for a second term; Paul Beaumont, who was re-elected to a new term; and Owen Etheridge, who defeated incumbent Commissioner Marion Gilbert in District 5 in the May GOP primary and ran unopposed in the general election. Gilbert stepped down from the board after two terms Monday night.

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