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Ed Higgins

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Ed Higgins
Ed Higgins.jpg
Board member, New Hanover County Board of Education, At-large
Term ends
November 2014
Years in position 20
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 2010
First electedNovember 1994
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sCatawba College
J.D.Wake Forest University
ProfessionCollege instructor
Office website
Ed Higgins is an at-large member of the New Hanover County Board of Education in North Carolina. He first won election to the board in 1994. Higgins advanced from a May 6, 2014 primary election against four other Republican candidates. He will face six candidates for four available seats in the general election on November 4, 2014.


Higgins earned his B.A. in accounting from Catawba College. He later earned a MBA from UNC-Wilmington and a J.D. from Wake Forest University. Higgins previously served as the department chair for the county's Public Service Department. He currently works as a law instructor at Cape Fear Community College. Higgins and his wife, Pamela, have three adult children.[1]



See also: New Hanover County Schools elections (2014)


Ed Higgins seeks to advance from the May 6, 2014 Republican primary against Jim Brumit, Janice Cavenaugh, Don Hayes and Bruce Shell. He will face Cavenaugh, Hayes and Shell as well as Democratic candidates Tom Gale, Chris Meek and Emma Saunders in the November 4, 2014 general election.


Primary election
New Hanover County Schools, At-Large Primary Election, 4-year term, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngDon Hayes Incumbent 22.4% 8,177
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngBruce Shell 21.6% 7,874
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngEd Higgins Incumbent 20% 7,314
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngJanice Cavenaugh Incumbent 19.6% 7,147
     Republican Jim Brumit 16.4% 5,970
Total Votes 36,482
Source: North Carolina State Board of Elections, " 05/06/2014 OFFICIAL PRIMARY ELECTION RESULTS - NEW HANOVER," May 13, 2014


Higgins has not reported any contributions or expenditures to the New Hanover County Board of Elections as of April 29, 2014.


Higgins has not received any official endorsements as of April 29, 2014.


New Hanover County Schools, At-large General Election, 4-year term, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngJanice Cavenaugh Incumbent 15.5% 35,627
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngDon Hayes Incumbent 14.8% 34,024
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngDerrick Hickey 14.6% 33,700
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngEd Higgins Incumbent 14.6% 33,698
     Democratic Nick Rhodes, Jr. 11.4% 26,350
     Democratic Joyce Huguelet 10.4% 23,971
     Democratic Philip Stine 9.5% 21,843
     Democratic William Clancy Thompson 9.2% 21,144
Total Votes 230,357
Source: North Carolina State Board of Elections, "Contest: NEW HANOVER COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION," accessed April 29, 2014

Campaign themes


Higgins explained his views on issues impacting the district in an interview with the Port City Daily:

State of district schools

What I am seeing is very dedicated teachers who are becoming very disillusioned...I talked to a teacher recently who said she and husband both had careers in education but didn’t think they made enough money to be able to start of family…You know, if the State of N.C. really wants to have education professionals then they need to step up and pay for those education professionals. We are asking county commissioners to help pay for additional supplements, so if the state doesn’t increase pay, we can at least provide some additional money for them.


—Hilary Snow, Port City Daily, (2014), [3]

Community college partnerships

I am a strong supporter of that. I was actually disappointed that the first early college [high school] here went to UNCW instead of Cape Fear. I felt like Cape Fear offered the best opportunities for students to stay in school. At a community college, the nature of programs offered are such that students who graduate could generally go directly into the workforce. I am a big believer in vocational education but not a big believer that it should be in public schools


Port City Daily, (2014), [3]

Achievement gap

I have had the opportunity to read some books on the subject that have kind of changed my mindset on how to do that...I hope I can serve to propose some professional development to help teachers understand that some of these students who are not performing the way we would like, that there are outside stresses that come from being in a lower socioeconomic household. I hope we could bring about some better training.


Port City Daily, (2014), [3]

What's at stake?

Issues in the election

April 17 candidate forum

All five candidates in the May 6, 2014 Republican primary participated in an April 17, 2014 forum hosted by the League of Women Voters of Lower Cape Fear. The candidates reached consensus on several issues including the need to reverse a 2013 state budget provision that eliminated starting pay increases of 10 percent for new teachers with master's degrees. Jim Brumit supported repeal of the provision but believes that the pay increase should be smaller. There was also unanimous support for allowing greater school choice for parents but voiced opposition to publicly funded vouchers for students at charters and private schools in New Hanover County. Don Hayes expressed concerns about the lack of accountability for charter schools as well as the negative effects of preferential treatment for charters.[4]

About the district

See also: New Hanover County Schools, North Carolina
New Hanover County Schools is located in New Hanover County, North Carolina
New Hanover County Schools is located in Wilmington, the county seat of New Hanover County, North Carolina. According to the United States Census Bureau, New Hanover County is home to 213,267 residents.[5] New Hanover County Schools is the 12th-largest school district in North Carolina, serving 25,131 students during the 2011-2012 school year.[6]


New Hanover County outperformed the rest of North Carolina in terms of higher education achievement in 2012. The United States Census Bureau found that 36.6 percent of New Hanover County residents aged 25 years and older had attained a bachelor's degree compared to 26.8 percent for North Carolina as a whole. The median household income in New Hanover County was $50,420 compared to $46,450 for the state of North Carolina. The poverty rate in New Hanover County was 16.0 percent compared to 16.8 percent for the entire state.[5]

Racial Demographics, 2012[5]
Race New Hanover County (%) North Carolina (%)
White 81.4 71.9
Black or African American 14.6 22.0
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.6 1.5
Asian 1.4 2.5
Two or More Races 1.9 2.0
Hispanic or Latino 5.4 8.7

Presidential votes, 2000-2012[7]
Year Democratic vote (%) Republican vote (%)
2012 46.9 51.5
2008 48.8 50.2
2004 43.7 55.8
2000 44.0 55.0

Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin, not a race. Therefore, the Census allows citizens to report both their race and that they are from a "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin simultaneously. As a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table will exceed 100.0%. Each column will add up to 100.0% after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages.[8]

Recent news

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See also

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