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February 23, 1996     Cape Gazette
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February 23, 1996
 

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IO- eAPE.GAZE'rIE,--Friclay, February P. --Februm7 29-, 1996 Sussex readies for state's first-ever presidential primary By Michael Short Sussex is bracing for the first ever Delaware presidential primary on Saturday. But Ken McDowell, director of the Sus- sex County Department of Elections, said that many people don't seem to realize that Delaware is about to join the ranks of po- tential presidential makers like New Hamp- shire and Iowa. "I think there's a lot of people who don't realize this is happening," McDowell said. Saturday's presidential primary will pit a host of Republican contenders against each other, including Steve Forbes, who is blitz- ing the state Friday with a host of personal appearances. Phil Gramm campaigned hard in Delaware and was an early favorite here be- fore early primary losses forced Gramm to leave the race. Among other presidential contenders, only Republican Alan Keyes is campaigning in Delaware. Keyes, a former United Nations ambas- sador who is trying to make a name for " himself by pushing morality issues, was in Wilmington on Wednesday. Republicans can choose from Lamar Alexander, Pat Buchanan and his currently soaring campaign, early election favorite Bob Dole, Forbes, Richard Lugar, Keyes and Gramm, who withdrew from the race too late to have his tame withdrawn from Delaware's ballot. Democrats have a far more limited choice, being limited to either Lyndon LaRouche, Jr. or Bill Clinton. Registered independents can't vote in the Saturday pr!- mary. Delaware's primary will produce 14 De- mocratic delegates and 12 Republican' dele- gates. That's small potatoes next to states like California and New York, but it's com- parable to primaries in other small states like New Hampshire. New Hampshire is considered a vital, early test for candidates, but it only produces 16 Republican dele- gates and 20 delegates for the Democrats. The Republican race is garnering the li- on's share of attention as expected, and Sussex County Republican Chairman Roland Derrickson said he doesn't know how Sussex will vote. Derrickson said Gramm was probably the leader in the county until he dropped out of the race. "He seemed to generate a lot of support," he said. Forbes is expected to help his cause with Friday's blitz of Delaware. "I can tell you this, there'a a lot of interest in Steve Forbes,"Derrickson said, explaining that people seem very curious about him. Among the appearances made by Forbes today will be a tour of Nanticoke Homes and dinner with the party faithful at the- Owens Campus of Del Tech. He will have lunch with the Georgetown Rotary and then visit the Huling Cove CHEER Center in Lewes. A very unscientific test of voters was held Tuesday on WAFL Radio in Milford. Talk show host Dan Gaffney said he asked callers who they wanted to win in Satur- day's primary. The results had Forbes pulling in 51 percent of the vote, followed by Alexander's 22 percent, Buchanan's 12 percent and Dole's five percent. "I would say there's a lot of interest," said Derrickson. McDowell said that interest is picking up in the election, although he still expects a modest turnout Saturday: "I am going to take a wild guess and say 15 to 20 percent (of registered voters) will vote." He said that this week's New Hampshire primary seemed to raise awareness and boost interest this week. But he noted that primaries usually only attract ten to 15 per- cent of voters. Generally, the more local a primary, the greater the interest. "After Tuesday's New Hampshire prima- ry, lots of absentee ballots have gone out," McDowell said. But there are still only about 200 absen- tee ballots that have been given out, com- pared to the 3,000 which are usually issued during November's general election. "They are not breaking down the doors," he said. McDowell thinks that's a shame. He said this is a chance for Delawareans to play a role in picking a president and he said Delaware is a kind of microcosm of the na- tion with a great diversity of people and in- terests. "I think Delaware is certainly a great mixing pot," he said. Milton's Rogers leads Delaware firefighters to 100% voter registration By Kerry Kester Lynn Rogers, president of the Delaware Volunteer Fireman's Association, announced on Wednesday, Feb. 21 that the asso- ciation will be launching a campaign for 100 per- cent voter registration from mem- bers of all the volunteer fire companies in the state as well as the ROGERS Ladies' Aux- iliaries. The association will also ask the members to assure that their family members are regis- tered to vote. "We want the fire service to be totally registered," said Rogers. "I'm basically trying to get our own house in order as far as voter registration is concerned. Once we have our numbers up in voter registration, when we do have a viable concern for the public where life, property, safety or fire prevention is concerned, and it in- volves legislation, the fire lobby- ists will have backing - through voter registration." Rogers said the target date for completing the project is June 1, and he has appointed Hal Barber, Sr, of Bethany, Beach to chair the Voter Registration Drive Commit- tee. "We're not kicking Off until after the presidential primary," said Barber. "I feel the fire service's dedica- tion to community service is also dedicated to the democratic process. That's why we're going for 100 percent voter registration of the volunteer fire service per- sonnel and their families," he said. Rogers said the association is not in any way trying to encour- age its members to join a particu- lar party. "We're basically a state agency without a paycheck, and we're an essential service," he said. He said the association is merely trying to assure that it will have a voice in government. The Delaware Volunteer Fire- man's Association, said Rogers, is thought of by many as "The Third Political Party." He said that al- though the as- sociation now has a very good working relationship with legisla- tors and other government officials, it is important to make certain BARBER it keeps a strong voice. "I project in the neighborhood of 20,000 will be put in that package," said Barber, of the voters he anticipates will in one way or another have an affili- ation with the Delaware Volunteer Fireman's Association. "We want them to exercise their right to vote," Barber said. Barber said that following a meeting at the Delaware State Fire School on March I0, representatives from throughout the state will have the U'aining necessary to be temporary voter registrars. Those represent- ing Sussex are Clayton Yocum, Greenwood; Jack Northam, Lau- rel; Dottie Barber, Bethany Beach; Margaret Justice, Mil- lville; and Sally Stevenson, state president of the ladies' auxiliary. 24 Hour Security Community Pools State of the Art Fitness Indoor/Outdoor Tennis plus more... EXCLUSIVE SALES by JACK LINGO, REALTOR 000000O/aataa MOOELSOPEN 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. Rr$  nw.m DIRECTIONS FROM RT. 1: ,   tar, m Turn onto Road 276. Go to dead ,...# end. Turn left onto Road 275. ]N The Plantations is .5 mile on I _/'1 . I right. Or, from Rt. 1, rum onto o RESORT & CLUB I *?" I I Rt 24 Cat McOonald's) Torn I 'atatiq' [ _ $ I right at second traffic light onto No One Can Match Us. ] Road Z75. The Plantations is l.5 q kl1600 Pennsylvania Avenue' Lewes' DE19958 I " [ miles on left. ' ' " " 302-645-2727,1-800-777-1530 l " N rOltlllt [ Visit Models Daily 9:00-$:00 . | "  I Or By Appointment