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November 6, 1998     Cape Gazette
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November 6, 1998

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Razor, close,election gives a seat on Sussex County Council By Michael Short Republican Vance Phillips was elected to Sussex County Council by the narrowest of margins, de- feating Charles "Chip" West by less than 2.5 percent of the vote: Phillips becomes the second Republican on Sussex County Council, dropping the Democratic majority to 3-2. That prompted fellow Republican George Cole to joke that Republican caucus meet- ings "with just one person...were getting boring." This was a race that was razor close from the very beginning. At one point, results showed the two separated by a single vote. When all the votes were tallied, Phillips had 3,541 votes and West had 3,373 votes. Phillips consistently pushed his pledge to Sussex County voters, making it the touchstone for his candidacy. "I feel good we promoted a message...This validates my prin- ciples of limited regulatory con- trol, lower taxes and returning government to the people," he said, West called Phillips as the re- suits were finalized to offer his congratulations, something Phillips said he appreciated. Like almost every county race, the con- test was marked by civility and good manners. Phillips&apos; pledge included hold- ing evening and town meetings, providing Internet access, respect- ing referendums (a reference to the West Rehoboth Sewer Dis- trict), protecting private property rights, protecting privacy rights, providing tax relief for seniors and remaining accountable. "I look forward to getting together when the dust settles," Phillips said of West. The race was split exactly as ex- pected. West, whose father Charles West, D-Gumboro, has been a fixture in Delaware's House of Representatives for years, won in the 41th Represen- tative District. That area encom- passes Gumboro and Millsboro Price wins re-election; Mu rray calls it quits By Jim Cresson First-term incumbent Rep. Shirley Price, D-Millville, outdis- tanced Republican challenger William O. "Bill" Murray of Ocean View by 1,768 votes to re- tain her 38th District House of Representatives seat. In what generally had been thought might be one of the tighter repeat races in Sussex County, Price easily won a voters' mandate to return to office for a second term. he carried all eight election districts in the 38th Dis- trict. With an impressive 46 percent voter turnout, Price garnered 5.166 votes to Murray's 3,398. The two candidates ran much closer in 1996. with Price gaining the seat by an 83-vote margin over Murray. "I'm excited," Price said as the news of the victory reached her Tuesday night. "I thought I had been doing a good job in office, and it seems the voters agreed. It's wonderful that so many people turned out to support me on such a miserable, rainy day. I'm grateful to them and to the many volun- teers who worked so hard on this campaign." Price had an active first term. introducing six legislative bills that were passed into law. Among them were new regulations on re- porting fish catches, eliminating the gross receipts tax for Delaware companies bidding on state contracts, increasing death benefits for public safety officers who die in the line of duty, and al- lowing minor capital money to be used for portable classrooms at public schools. She said after her re-election that she intends to reintroduce a bill that would regulate telemar- keting phone calls in Delaware and she also wints to further ad- dress the way the Alcoholic Bev- erage Control Commission (ABCC) conducts its business of granting liquor licenses. She was successful with a first- term bill that called for the ABCC to hold public hearings to get neighborhood input whenever it reviews a liquor license request. "There are so many things that need attention," she said. "I want to get more involved with clean- mg up the inland bays during this next term." Price is an inland bays water- man who for years helped her par- ents operate a bait and tackle shop in Cedar Neck. Murray, who has campaigned unsuccessfully four times for the 38th District seat, announced Wednesday he will not again seek elected office. "This campaign was a good one," Murray said. "I had great party support, and I thought I had the heartbeat of the voters. But the election results tell me the voters have sent two mandates: they want Shirley back in office, and they don't want Bill Murray to work for them. So I'm done with politics. This was my last cam- paign.'" and West ran strong there, defeat- ing Phillips i,810 to 1,680. Further west, in the 40th Repre- sentative District which includes Laurel, Phillips showed his strength. Phillips won that area 1,314 to 913. Although Phillips' victory cuts the Democratic margin on county council to 3-2, that will make little difference, according to County Council President Dale Dukes. Dukes takes a good deal of pride in the fact that county council doesn't put much emphasis on par- tisan politics. "I was elected to serve the people of my district. But I feel I was elected to serve the whole county," Dukes said. "I do not think decisions have been made on whether or not someone was a Republican or a Democrat." 22srm'J "EVERYDAY OUR COM[UNITY TEACHERS CHANGE THE FACE OFTHE FUTURE." Today's students become ,omorrow's community leaders. It's" been that way for genera- tions. Through example and experience teachers pass on the skills our children will need to create a successful future. Teachers deserve our respect and thanks for all they do to make our community a better place to live. Terry Suess, Teacher of the Year. 1998 ount00.0000 <#a u MEMBER FDIC Rehoboth Beach 226-9800 Long Neck 947-7300 Milford 424-2500 Seaford 628-4400 !