4 express interest in filling Hanig vacancy

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Currituck Commissioner Bobby Hanig


By William F. West
Staff Writer

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

CURRITUCK — A firearms dealer, a planning board member, a real estate agent and a schoolteacher are among those seeking to become District 2’s newest representative on the Currituck Board of Commissioners.

Jason Belangia, Carolyn Hickok Bibeau, Steven Craddock and Selina Jarvis have all stated an interest in filling the District 2 seat soon to be vacated by state Representative-elect Bobby Hanig, Currituck Republican Executive Committee Chairman Bryan Bass said Monday.

Hanig tentatively plans to step down from the Currituck commission board on Dec. 4, in the middle of his two-year term, because he won election on Nov. 6 to a seat in the state Legislature representing the newly drawn House District 6.

The four candidates who’ve expressed interest in completing his two-year term are well-known to county Republicans, Bass has said.

Belangia owns the Gun Shack at Point Harbor and is a current member of Currituck’s Game Commission.

Bibeau, who works in real estate, appeared in a 2014 television commercial for District 1 state Sen. Bill Cook, R-Beaufort, who did not seek re-election. She also campaigned for Dare County businessman Clark Twiddy during his unsuccessful bid this spring for the GOP nomination in redrawn state Senate District 1.

Craddock, originally from Elizabeth City, is a real estate appraiser and electrical contractor who is completing his sixth year as a member of the Currituck Planning Board.

Jarvis teaches at Currituck High School. According to the school’s website, Jarvis teaches civics and economics. She’s been at the school about 29 years. Bass said Jarvis also has served as a precinct judge at the Powells Point polling site for county elections.

Belangia, Bibeau and Jarvis couldn't be reached for comment Monday.

In a phone interview, Craddock said he believes his experience on the county Planning Board uniquely qualifies him to fill Hanig's seat on the Board of Commissioners. Not only has he interacted with Currituck’s Planning and Community Development Department and other government departments in his role as planning board member, he said, he’s also had previous experience dealing with the public.

Craddock said he's accustomed to people who want to address their government about concerns and grievances, and who aren’t shy expressing their views on controversial issues.

"Also, if you have been on the Planning Board, you will have had the same experience in public speaking as well," he said.

Craddock noted he always tries to participate in Planning Board discussions.

"In order for you to have your point known, you have to speak up and talk about it,” he said. “I'm not afraid to give my opinion about things. I may not always have all of the right answers, but that's exactly the reason that you have boards."

Craddock noted that even though the Planning Board is an appointed panel, its members try to do what's best for the county and all its citizens — the same as elected boards do.

"We're just regular people," he said. 

Bass said previously that he planned for the Currituck Republican Party’s Executive Committee to meet Nov. 27 and settle on a nominee for the Hanig vacancy it can then recommend to the Currituck Board of Commissioners, who will fill the seat. 

Bass said Monday, however, that after checking with the state Republican Party and state law, the committee will have to delay its meeting until after Hanig officially resigns. 

"Pretty much Bobby Hanig needs to resign first. There has to be a vacancy officially before we do anything official," he said.

Currituck Attorney Ike McRee has said that once the Board of Commissioners is officially notified of Hanig’s resignation, it has 60 days to appoint a successor. He also noted that although North Carolina law requires Currituck commissioners to consult with the Currituck GOP Executive Committee prior to filling any vacancy on the commission board, commissioners aren’t required to appoint the panel’s nominee.

Asked when the executive committee will meet to fill Hanig's seat, Bass said the date is now pending.

"We going to try to do it fairly quickly after that,” he said, referring to Hanig's resignation.