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Luke Mahler’s novel idea for being Kill Devil Hills’ next commissioner: To serve

Meet Luke Mahler, candidate for Kill Devil Hills commissioner. He says he owes much to the community’s residents and wants to serve them. Imagine that.

The first thing you notice about Luke Mahler is his presence. He just naturally commands attention, exuding genuine warmth, enthusiasm, and interest. Quite simply, it’s hard not to like the man who just announced his candidacy for Kill Devil Hills Commissioner.

Mahler, 24, wants to bring a fresh perspective to Kill Devil Hills government, and he’s well-suited to do so. He has solid roots in the community and passion for the concerns of its residents. He also wants to pay them back.

“I owe a great deal to the residents of Kill Devil Hills and Dare County,” says Mahler. “They’ve supported me through difficult times over the past two years.” Those times included a bad fall down ice-laden steps, which led to major surgeries for grueling spine and hip fractures. July marked his first time to walk unaided since the accident occurred.

luke-mahler-kill-devil-hills-commissioner-outer-banks-nc“While I was unable to move, this town came together for me in ways I could never have expected,” Mahler says. “People I hadn’t seen for years flocked to me with messages of support, meals, and help of every sort. I was overwhelmed.” That’s when Mahler swore to himself that he would give back all that Kill Devil Hills had given him and more.

During his recovery, Mahler both attended college full time and worked to help pay for his education. He succeeded in gaining his degree, in history and classics, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. One of his major goals as commissioner is to increase support for Dare County public schools, of which he is a graduate.

“I am running,” says Mahler, “because it’s time to focus on local issues and concerns that impact our working families. I also want to protect the beauty of our pristine beaches and environment, which attracts so many to live, work, and play on the Outer Banks.”

Mahler has a long history of supporting and serving the community. He has volunteered for several local aid organizations, including the Children & Youth Partnership for Dare County, the Monday Night Alive program for at-risk children, and the Dare County Elementary School system.

During the recent power outage on Hatteras and Ocracoke islands, Mahler initiated a relief convoy. He says, “I was overwhelmed by all the donations—from water bottles to batteries, food, baked goods, utensils, and everything in between. There wasn’t an inch of space left in the pickup when I headed to Hatteras.”

Mahler comes from a family with deep ties to the Outer Banks. He is the son of Debi Mahler Baum, a local certified public accountant, and Jonathan Baum, a tugboat captain and boat builder who spent numerous years on the Hatteras and Currituck ferries. His late father, Mark Mahler, served as a captain in the United States Marine Corps. And his grandparents, who also live on the Outer Banks, are the Reverends Fran and Craig Peel.

Currently, Mahler is Kill Devil Hills Democratic Precinct chair. While serving in that role, he says, “I’ve seen the transformative and meaningful effects passion and activism can have on a community, and I aim to bring that experience to bear every single day as commissioner of Kill Devil Hills.”

Mahler has proven that he’s tough, which means he’ll make a formidable contender in the commissioner’s race. The nonpartisan municipal election is Tuesday, November 7, 2017, with one-stop early voting scheduled to begin on Thursday, October 19, 2017.

For additional information on Mahler’s campaign and upcoming events schedule or to contact him to volunteer, donate, or discuss issues affecting Kill Devil Hills voters, visit his website at Follow him on Facebook at “Luke Mahler for KDH Commissioner (@lukeforkdh) or send an email to


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Ginger Walters

Go Luke! I know you’ll do a great job!

Judy Lotas

Yay, Luke! So glad he’s running, willing to put all that excellent brain and moral power into public service.