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February 8, 2008

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18 - CAPE GAZETTE - Friday, February 8 - Monday, ebruary 11, 2008 Primaries 2008: obama takes Delaware, but not Sussex Local Dems pick HiUary; McCain wins in county, state By Kevin Spence Cape Gazette staff Sussex County Democrats bucked the statewide primary results when 52 percent of therfi voted for Hillary Clinton, while only 40 percent voted for Barack Obama. The county's tally was almost exactly opposite the state's, as Obama - the only candidate who campaigned in the state - garnered 53 percent of the statewide vote to Clinton's 42 percent. Meanwhile, Republican John McCaln was the leading vote-get- ter in Sussex County as well as statewide. Chris Lu, communications director for Obama Delaware, said despite lower numbers in Sussex, he was encouraged. "First of all, we're ecstatic with Barack's overall performance in the state," said Lu. He said a Fairleigh Dickinson University poll in mid-October showed Clinton beating Obama in Delaware by 41 to 17 percent. "We took New Castle and Kent County and "in Sussex we had a strong showing. We think our message of change and unity plays well to urban as weU as rural voters," Lu said. But in Sussex County, with an overall primary turnout of 34 per- cent, Clinton topped Obama in every voting district except the 33rd District, which crosses into Kent County. Joseph Pika, profes- sor of political science and inter- national relations at the University of Delaware, said Clinton's strong showing might be attributed to the number of older voters in Sussex. "I noted that the average age of voters in the Sussex districts that went for Clinton was higher than the average age of voters for Obama," he said. In Sussex County, the 2000 Census showed about 43 percent of residents are 45 years old or older, while statewide the number of residents 45 years old or older is 34 percent. Clinton appeals especially older voters and to women vot said Pika. The primary res reflect "the high concentratior retirees in Sussex County," said. Of the roughly 91,000 rel tered Sussex County vot, 30,754 cast ballots in the prim while in Delaware, alrt 147,000 people voted on Su Tuesday - a record-high turf for a presidential primary. For Democrats, 38 perc turned out to the polls statew while 28 percent of registe Republicans voted. In Sus County, 34 percent of voters ballots. Pika said lower number., Sussex County could be a resul attracting fewer younger vot "The kind of mobilization benefited Obama were new young voters and potenti African-Americans," he said. Sussex Republicans In the Republican prim: McCain garnered 40 percent the vote, while 33 percent w for Mitt Romney and 20 pert voted for Mike Huckabee. Unlike Democrats, Sus Republicans mirrc Republicans statewide: Me( captured 45 percent of vt statewide, while Ronmey captt 33 percent. Ron Sams, chairman of Su, County Republicans, said con vative Republicans most li split their votes between Rom and Huckabee, leaving McCall the primary beneficiary. V Romney expected to drop ou the race Thursday, Feb. 7, S said that should simplify Choices for Republicans. Sams, who watched the prili returns from local Republi party headquarters Georgetown, said, "When I 1 at the numbers, Romney got at 4,800 votes and Huckabee aln 3,000." McCain received 6, votes in Sussex County. "I guess more mode Republicans voted for McCa he said. to "I think there was probably a ,rs, group of Republicans that liked tits John's position. But, I talked to of some Republicans that, on certain he issues, thought he was more left wing than they would have liked. I think that was the trend too, nationally," Sams said. ;is- rs, try, ost per out Independents seek votes Nearly 25,000 Sussex County voters who were registered as Independent or other minority ent parties were unable to vote in de, Delaware's closed primary, which red requires major party registration. sex Sussex County Department of :ast Elections Administrative Director Kenneth McDowell said he in received a few complaints from t of the polls. .rs, "The major complaint is, 'I'm hat an Independent and I pay taxes md and I'm not allowed to vote," said dly McDowell. "Lots of people moved here. I've had a whole bunch who want to change from 'declined' to either party," said try, McDowell. of "All 50 states have 50 sets of ,ted rules," he said. In Delaware, how- :ent ever, those who wish to change party registration must do so by sex March 30 to vote in the state's red Sept. 9 primary election. "Other ain than that, we've found no irregu- tes larities," said McDowell. red A few voters cast their votes for Sen. Joe Biden, even though he sex had withdrawn from the race. In ;er- Sussex County's 14th :ely Representative District, which aey includes Rehoboth Beach, about t as 73 Democrats voted for Biden. rith Statewide, almost 3 percent voted i of for him and in Sussex County, the tins numbers edged higher for Biden the at 4 percent of the vote. ary Beyond the primary can Delaware Democratic Party in Communications Director Joe 9ok Sheeran said his organization has ,out been working with the kost Democratic National Committee 300 to recruit volunteers for its Neighborhood Leadership ate Program, whose goal is to recruit in," 500,000 Democratic volunteers nationwide by Labor Day. "We Kevin Spence photos Jerry Peregoy is the election inspector at the Rehoboth Beach Volunteer Fire Company in the 14th Representative District. He points to the number of voters who entered the polls on Super Tuesday. By 2 p.m., 23 percent of registered voters had voted. By the end of the day, 34 percent of regis- tered voters in Sussex County turned out to the polls. Said Peregoy, "The only complaint we had was the inability to cross over, or vote for both Republicans and Democrats. Four refused to vote because they couldn't vote for both parties." In Delaware's closed primary systems, only major party vot- ers can cast their votes for one party. target those who are likely to vote County, Sheeran said the applica- in the general election and urge tion process has been reopened. them to contact others in the com- The party seeks delegate candi- munity." In Sussex County, he dates for Clinton and Obama in said, about 200 volunteers are tak- the 40th District, which includes ing part in the Neighborhood Delmar and Laurel. The deadline Leadership Program. to apply is 5 p.m., Wednesday, Sen. Tom Carper said he's not Feb. 20. Delegates for both endorsing any candidate. "I think Clinton and Obama are also need- the world of both leading ed in the 41st District, which Democratic candidates," he said. includes Long Neck and "My goal is to see them run as a Millsboro, but the deadline to team. Together, they would make apply is 5 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 12. a strong ticket for the Democrats District delegates will be named and a good team for America. I throughout February. The 14th hope at the end of the day they can District caucus will be held at 6 be convinced to run together." p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 12, at the Holiday Inn Express in Rehoboth Democratic delegates Beach. Delaware will send 23 delegates In the 37th District, the caucus to the Democratic National will be held at 6 p.m. at the Convention in Denver Aug. 25- Harbeson Church Community 28. Based on the primary results, Hall, 18636 Harbeson Rd. The nine will be pledged for Obama, 38th District caucus will be held at and six will be pledged for 7 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 28, at the Clinton. Eight of delegates, called Bethany Beach Volunteer Fire super-delegates, are not pledged Company. For more information, to either candidate until the con- go to www.deldems,org. vention. Because fewer people applied Contact Kevin Spence at to serve as delegates in Sussex New Rehoboth parking meters to take credit cards Rates to jump to $2 per hour on 51 meters along Rehoboth Ave. By Ryan Mavity Cape Gazette staff Visitors to Rehoboth Beach who want to park near the beach will havea new option this summer: credit cards. The second draft of the 2008-09 city budget also calls for a 19 percent increase in refuse rates and a 50 percent increase for seasonal parking permits. The city is planning to use a credit card system on all the Reino parking meters on the first two blocks of Rehoboth Avenue. The city also proposes to raise parking meter rates from $1 an hour to $2 an hour. The increase would bring the city around $415,O1Q in ,projected revenue, which the commissioners agreed to put into a capital improvement pool t various projects sucl bishment, the city [] wastewater disposal. City Manager Grel hopes it can ever Rehoboth Avenue m systems and possibl Wilmington, Baltiv Delaware avenues hat would help fund L as Boardwalk refur- unicipal complex and ; Ferrese said the city tually outfit all of ters with credit card the beach block of tore, Maryland and as well. However, Ferrese did not kno if the city would be able to make the necessary changes by this summer. [ At the city's secon meeting on the 2008- 09 budget, Jeff Roc]:, sales representative for Reino, presentec well as future parkin discussed wireless p ment, vehicle sens would help stop met held ticket writers a [ the new meters, as meter options. Rock irking meter manage- ing technology that r feeding, new hand- d setting up a pay-at- any-meter system. While the commission- ers made no commitments, city officials hope to eventually to enable all the meters on Rehoboth Avenue to take credit cards. Rock said the city could order meters with refurbished heads to get a lower price and get them in time for the summer. While the head would be refurbished, all the inte- rior parts would be brand new, he said. Besides the parking meters, the only other changes to the budget the commis- sioners agreed to were additional increases in parking permit fees and refuse fees. The commissioners agreed to extend the parking permit season until Sept. 30, although the season will continue to begin around the middle of May. The proposed permit increases will be: seasonal transferable - from $100 to $150, seasonal, nontransferable - from $75 to $125, weekly - from $30 to $45, three-day weekend - from $20 to $30, weekend dally - from $10 to $13 and weekday daily - from $5 to $8. Refuse rates would increase from $185 to $220 for year-round residential, from $170 to $200 for seasonal properties and from $30 to $35 for cabins and rooms. Commercial refuse rates would increase by between $55 and $85 depending on the size and nature of the business. Restaurants would pay $38 per seat, a $4 increase, while hotels would pay $33 per room, an increase of $3. The city's projected combined revenue from the increases would be about $107,000. The next budget meeting will be held at 1 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 19, in the city commis- sioners' room. Contact Ryan Mavity at ryanm @ capegazette, com.