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November 7, 2014     Cape Gazette
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November 7, 2014

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4 FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 7 - MONDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2014 NEW Cape Gazette Four GOP contenders coast to victory By Chris Flood, Maddy Lauria and Ron MacArthur Newly elected representative for House District 41 Richard Collins isn't waiting until the 148th General Assembly begins in January to start working for his constituents. Less than 24 hours after a de- cisive victory over Democratic incumbent John Atkins in the Nov. 4 General Election, Collins, a Republican from Millsboro, was making plans to attend a meeting on regional ocean planning by the Mid-Atlantic Regional Plan- ning Body at the University of Delaware's Virden Center in Lewes. Collins called the meeting another example of some big governmental agency telling people how they're going to do things. "This has got to stop," he said. Collins' 352-vote victory over Atkins, 2,920 to 2,568, represents a 400-vote swing from the 2012 race that saw Atldns defeat Col- lins by 69 votes. Collins credits his hard work and presentation of a message that appealed to common sense conservatives as the reason for the turnaround. "I worked hard. I was out there going door to door," he said. "I was much better known this time around." Atkins took the loss in stride. "I woke up the same person today as I was yesterday," he said the morning following defeat. Atkins, who had represented the district twice -- from 2003 to 2007 and since 2008, said he wanted to go out with class and congratulated Collins on the Vic- tory. He said he didn't even want to talk about the possibility of him challenging Collins in the 2016 race. As one of two Republican In the Representative District Association of Realtors office in challengers who defeated Dem- 20 race, Steve Smyk defeated Georgetown the night of the elec- ocratic incumbents, Collins said Democratic challenger Marie tion to watch results along with his party affiliation helped, but Mayor for the second time. In supporters of Smyk and incom- it wasn't the main reason for his 2012, Smyk won by 536 votes. In ins Sussex Sheriff Robert Lee. win. People are tired of the failed this year's race, Smyk more than With only eight polling places policies of the people they've tripled the margin of victory, in the 37th District, her results elected, he said. defeating Mayor by 1,736 votes, were among the first to come A Republican challenger also 5,473 to 3,737. in. Within an hour of the polls won the Senate District 21 race, Smyk said the increase in the closing, it became obvious she which saw Bryant Richardson margin of victory showed that all had defeated Rappa with 65 per- defeat Robert Venables, who had the hard work that's been done cent of the vote. Briggs King has been representing the district in Dover over the past two years served since 2009. since 1988. has paid off. "I'm very excited. You work all The remaining races in the If there's consistency and a year for this," Briggs King said. Cape Region saw incumbent Re- dedication to serve, voters no- a state representative you are publicans coast to easy victories, rice, Smyk said. He said moving always running for re-election including in the two legislative forward, he hopes to continue and doing constituent services. districts moved from New Castle to grow his understanding of his It's very humbling to come back, County to Sussex County in 2012 constituents so he can take even and this time by a very wide after redistricting, more of their needs to Dover. margin. In the Senate District 6 race, Marie Mayor said she does not "I'm happy to focus on what Ernie Lopez defeated Democrat- plan to run again, but she will the voters are saying are the real ic challenger Claire Snyder-Hall continue campaigning to bring issues, which are the economy by more than 4,500 votes, 10,862 change to the 20th District. and public safety. to 6,242. "I will work tirelessly for a "Those are the important is- Lopez said the win was a reaf- candidate who can work in this sues for all of us. The voters have firmation of the hard work and district," she said on the night said no more partisan politics bipartisan approach he's taken of the election. "We're moving - deal with the issues and get since he was elected in 2012. forward." things done," she said. Lopez said at every polling A third candidate in this race, Briggs King said there have location, people came up and Independent Party of Delaware been unfounded concerns she said how proud they were of the candidate Don Ayotte, received would not represent manufac- work that's been done and that 217 votes, tured housing residents. "We the campaign had been a positive Finally, in the Representative passed the first-ever rent justi- one focused on the issues. District 37 race Ruth Briggs King fication bill. I've done a lot of Lopez said the convincing vic- defeated Democratic challenger things in this district that even tory was humbling. Paulette Rappa, 4,173 to 2,214. a Democrat predecessor wasn't "Voters are looking for prob- Briggs King supporters gath- able to do in the General Assem- lem solvers," he said. ered at the Sussex Countybly," she said. Lee set to end Sheriff's Office controversy Landslide win overcomes Dems, write-in campaign By Ron MacArthur Sheriff-elect Robert T. Lee says Sussex County voters are tired of controversy when it comes to the sheriff. "They want to go back to nor- malcy of what the Sheriffs Office is in this state - period," he said. "We can't continue with this controversy that is not accom- plishing anything." Over the past four years, Sus- sex Sheriff Jeff Christopher filed two lawsuits against the county on the grounds that since he is a conservator of the peace, the state's constitution gives him ar- rest powers. In June 2012, the Delaware General Assembly passed House Bill 325 denying arrest powers for county sheriffs in Delaware. Christopher simultaneously filed a lawsuit against county officials TWO ELECTION NIGHT WINNERS - Robert Lee, right, react after results are announced Tuesday night. asking the court to rule that he could carry out some law en- forcement duties. In March 2013, Superior Court Judge T. Henley Graves ruled Delaware sheriffs do not have arrest powers and cannot act as police officers. That ruling was later upheld by the Delaware Supreme Court. Lee defeated Christopher in the Republican primary, but Christopher then decided to run as a write-in candidate. In the general election, Lee won with 61 percent of the vote over RON MACARTHUR PHOTO and Rep. Steve Smyk - Democrat Beau Gooch of Milton. Unofficially, Christopher gar- nered about 6,000 write-in votes. During the primary, Lee made it clear where he stood on the duties of the Sheriffs Office. "I will focus on getting back to the job description of the sheriff without creating controversy and causing court cases," he said. "I want to bridge that gap between the county council, courts and police departments. We can get a lot more accomplished when Continued on page 19 Political newcomer rides Republican wave By Ron MacArthur You enter the political arena as a newcomer with no name recognition. You run against two of the most recognized people in county govern- ment. Add the fact that you run pri- mary and general election campaigns with very little funding. Rob Arlett Doesn't sound like a recipe for suc- cess. But none of this deterred political newcomer Bob Ar- lett of the Frankford area. Riding a wave of Republican victories, Arlett handily won the Sussex County Coun- cil District 5 seat. While he has lived in Sussex County for nine years since moving here from Virginia, the first Return Day he attended was as a winning candidate. "People told me I was cra- zy," Republican Arlett said the morning after he won the District 5 seat. "They told me I didn't have a chance. But I told them I didn't see it that way. I wanted to give the people of Sussex County a choice." While his opponents played on their long expe- rience in Sussex County government, Arlett said not being part of the system worked to his benefit. "I know this isn't supposed to happen in Sussex County," :. he said. "But I think p ople are tired of elected officials," He said he made a com- mitment to put in the hours and dedicate himself to get- ting his message out. "That was all done with a focus on people and a lot of faith,,' he said. Arlett won the Sept, 9 Republican primary by 202 votes over Vance Phillips of Laurel, a sixth-generation Sussex Countian who had served on council for 16 years. In the general election, Ar- lett defeated Democrat Bob Wheatley of Laurel, who has served on the county's plan- Continued on page 19