BREAKING NEWS: Markell, Atkins winners in tight primary races

After a competitive start to this year’s election season, the results of Sept. 9’s primary voting are in for the state of Delaware – and, for many candidates, it was a close one.

State Treasurer Jack Markell beat out Lt. Gov. John Carney in the Democratic primary for governor, despite the state party’s official support for Carney. Markell received 37,849 votes or 51.2 percent of the total, compared to Carney’s 36,112, or 48.8 percent – a difference of just 1,737 votes.

On the Republican side of the gubernatorial primary, William Swain “Bill” Lee received almost 21,000 votes, handily beating Michael D. Protack, who received about 8,000.

In the race to see who will get to run for insurance commissioner on the Democratic ticket, Karen Weldin Stewart beat out Gene Reed with 42.5 percent of the vote, to Reed’s 39.3 percent. Tom Savage received 18.2 percent.

In District 41’s race for Democratic contender for state representative, newly proclaimed Democrat John Atkins beat once-Independent Barbara Lifflander by just 157 votes. Atkins received 1,095 votes, or 53.9 percent, to Lifflander’s 938, or 46.1 percent.

Atkins, who served two terms in the state legislature as a Republican before resigning amidst scandal, and Lifflander, who had run unsuccessfully against Atkins in a prior general election as an Independent, both ran as Democrats this year, with the hopes to eventually run against Republican incumbent Greg Hastings for state representative for District 41. Hastings succeeded Atkins after winning the election to select his replacement. There was no primary for District 38 this year.

In Sussex County Council’s District 2, Republican Samuel R. Wilson Jr. beat out Republican Robert W. Rickers by a slim margin of 29 votes. Wilson received 765 votes, to Rickers’ 736. Former Sussex County Sheriff Robert L. Reed received 27.1 percent of the votes in that race, coming in third.

For County Council District 3, Republican Mark W. Baker beat Republican Judson Bennett with a margin of 54.7 percent to 45.3 percent.

The winners of the primaries will now go on to compete in the general election on Nov. 4.