Following a long election season, the State of Delaware only saw a statewide voter turnout of 65.34 percent.
Nationally, the State’s popular vote went to presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (53.35 percent), with President-elect Donald Trump receiving 41.92 percent, and third party candidates receiving close to 5 percent of the vote.
Lisa Blunt Rochester (D) received 55.52 percent of the vote, and will be representing Delaware in Congress, as its current Congressman, John Carney (D), won the State’s gubernatorial race with 58.34 percent of votes cast.
Sussex County native, and Indian River High School Alum State Sen. Bethany Hall-Long, will serve as the State’s lieutenant governor, as she received 59.44 percent of the votes.
Insurance Commissioner incumbent Jeffrey Cragg (R) was defeated by Trinidad Navarro (D), having received 40.72 percent of the votes cast.
Norman Jones, Jr. (R) beat out Charles Koskey (D) for Sussex County Clerk of the Peace, with 58.93 percent of the vote.
Incumbent Richard “Rich” Collins (R), who defeated Brad Connor for the State Representative for District 41 with 59.18 percent of the vote, thanked his constituents for reelecting him for a second term.
“I have been, but I will continue to represent every single one of them. I don’t care if they put the other guys’ sign in their yard … I will help anyone in my district…
“I think the people of Sussex County have spoken, and I think the people of the nation have spoken. I think the people of Sussex County agreed with the nation at large that [things] must change. … [They] want an America as we thought we had it, want to return to that. I think we are tired of every time we disagree with everything the elite forces us to do, that we are [considered] bigoted in some way — we disagree with that, as well.”
Collins also called attention to the need for a special election to fill the seat of Lt. Gov.-elect, Hall-Long, who will not finish her term as a state senator.
“There’s a chance we could end up with Republican control of the Delaware Senate. I think Delaware would become a much more hospitable place to job creators. People are tired of economic malaise …”
During his first term in the legislature, Collins said there had been progress in terms of regulatory reform.
“One of the major [issues] … job seekers face is an overwhelming blanket of regulation, which makes it almost imposable for businesses to come to Delaware and hire people. We made a tremendous start last year … the first real rollback of regulations in the state that I know of.
“My goal is to continue pushing as hard as I can for a review of many, many regulations to protect the environment, protect workers … those fundamental goals need to be preserved. But are we going overboard on things [so people just ignore mandates that are too expensive to follow]. Why is it that we’ve had Superfund sites for years? Regulations to clean up are so severe that no one takes the burden. So poisons in the soil remain from a less-knowledgeable and more irresponsible age. We haven’t built a new major factory in Delaware, I can’t imagine how long it’s been. Bloom only hired 277 people, and we’re not building DuPonts that once hired thousands of people. We have what it takes … we have deep water in the Delaware River and in the Nanticoke River … [that we’re not using]. I want to work on those things. We need to return to prosperity.”
I.G. Burton III, who defeated Leslie Ledogar for the District 3 Sussex County Council seat, with 55.84 percent of votes, said his 11 years of experience on the county Planning and Zoning Commission was what set him apart from his opponent.
“I’m excited, Burton said of his victory. “I haven’t really dissected it yet,” he said, but added that he planned to spend the day Wednesday picking up campaign signs.
Burton said he sees the next four years as crucial for the future of Sussex County. “We’re either going to go in one direction or the other,” he said, “and you just can’t leave it to someone who doesn’t have the experiences of what we’ve gone through.”
“I think I can bring consensus together,” in times when controversial decisions need to be made. “It’s not what you want or what I want but what we want.
Burton pointed to the planning commission’s approval of the controversial Gill’s Neck Village Center in Lewes as an example of a situation where his Planning and Zoning experience will help him as a County Council member.
The proposed 75,000 shopping center at King’s Highway and Gills Neck Road, he said, was controversial and many did not agree with his move to approve the center. In another decision, he said, he voted against the Overbrook Town Center because it went against the county comprehensive land use plan’s guidelines for “orderly growth of the county.”
He said his land use experience will be helpful as the county updates its comprehensive land use plan. “You absolutely have to get consensus, involvement and agreement on where you want this county to end up,” Burton said.
Another key issue in the upcoming years, Burton said, is “what we are doing to our environment. What steps are we taking to protect our environment? There’s a balance,” Burton said, “and I think we’re a little out of balance,” currently, he said.
State Sen. Gerald Hocker maintained his seat in the 20th District, topping challenger Perry Mitchell. Hocker tallied 72.39 percent of the vote, while Mitchell finished with 27.61 percent.
For the complete list of the State’s election results, visit www.elections.delaware.gov.