Fall elections now taking shape

It was beginning to look as if there would be very little excitement locally in the November elections. True, Ocean View Town Council Member Perry Mitchell announced his intent to run for Sen. George H. Bunting’s state senate seat in the Democratic primary, but there appeared to be very little intrigue for other available positions.

But now there’s a little spice.

Dennis V. Cordrey, a Democrat from Millsboro, recently announced his intentions to run against Sussex County Council President Vance Phillips for Phillips’ seat on county council. Phillips, a Republican, has been on county council since 1998, and has steadily gained power on the board, and across the county. Cordrey has been the director of personnel for the county for the past 30 years, and comes into the race with both a prominent name and a keen understanding of the inner workings of Sussex County government.

This one could be an interesting race.

And there is going to be a significant issue for the two to debate. Phillips has taken pride in the fact that, despite the economic downturn the entire nation has seen over the past several years, Sussex County government has remained strong and resident-friendly.

“Every other county and state government has raised taxes, had layoffs and cut services, yet because of the conservative principles that I promote, we have been able to balance our budget without raising taxes, without taking out of our savings and without layoffs,” said Phillips.

Cordrey, however, comes to the race with a different perspective. He considers the quality of county services to be his top priority.

“I want to make sure that the people of Sussex County are getting their money’s worth from the government,” said Cordrey. “We have cut a lot of jobs in the county through attrition and early retirement, which is good for taxpayers, but that puts a lot on the backs of other county employees who haven’t had a cost-of-living raise in two years. We need to figure out a way to pay our employees fairly for their hard work and continue to provide quality services for all residents.”

It sounds like a classic Republican-Democrat battle over government’s role in society, and features a race between to prominent names in Sussex County.

This one could be intriguing.