Candidates make pitch to Eastern Sussex County Democratic Club

March 11, 2014

Bradley Connor, a Democrat from Dagsboro, filed for the Sussex County Council District 5 seat March 5 and made his first public appearance March 6 at the monthly Eastern Sussex County Democratic Club meeting.

Connor attended the meeting at Bethany Blues in Lewes to pitch his message and garner support from his Democratic brethren. He began his appearance by talking about the multi-year effort it took to get water and sewer to Dagsboro during his two decades as the town's mayor. He took it on as a second job, and in the end, the infrastructure project was 97 percent federally funded, he said.

“The one thing that motivated me, more than I knew it was needed, was to work, work, work to make it affordable,” he said.

Connor said he's running on three main issues - bringing high-quality, well-paying jobs to Sussex County, decreasing the length of time it takes for state police to respond to 9-1-1 calls in unincorporated areas of the county, and expanding the scope of broadband internet access to residents of rural areas.

Sussex County Councilwoman Joan Deaver, who represents District 3 and is in the second year of her second term, said Connor couldn't be a better candidate. She said she needed his support on the council because right now, it's her against the four other council members. She said District 4 Commissioner George Cole doesn't want to get involved with anything new and just doesn't seem that interested; she wouldn't vote for District 2 Commissioner Samuel Wilson, and District 5 Commissioner Vance Phillips, “just plain needs to get out.”

“I can't wait to see what you and I are going to do,” she said to Connor.

Connor is the lone Democrat who has filed for the seat of the incumbent Phillips, R-Laurel, who has represented the district since 1998. Republican Harry Orvin Strickler of Roxana has also thrown his hat in the ring for the council seat.

Mitch Crane, Sussex County Democratic chair, said he was pleased with the rollout of Democratic candidates so far, but was still looking for a good candidate to challenge Sheriff Jeff Christopher, a Republican from Greenwood. Christopher gained notoriety when he filed a lawsuit saying sheriff's have arresting powers. Christopher eventually lost the case, but not before it made it all the way to the Delaware Supreme Court.

“When we take the oath of office, we are supposed to uphold the constitution of the state and the nation the way it is written, not as we interpret it,” said Crane, who encouraged members of the club in attendance to talk with any retired law officers they knew who might make a good challenger.

Deaver agreed with Crane, saying Christopher has cost the county nearly $90,000 in legal fees.

“He's costing so much money,” she said.

Other Democratic candidates who made an appearance at the meeting included State Treasurer Chip Flowers of Middletown, Senate District 18 candidate Gary Wolfe of Greenwood, Representative District 20 candidate Marie Mayor of Milton, Representative District 37 candidate Paulette Ann Rappa of Millsboro, and Sussex County Recorder of Deeds candidate Alma Roach of Georgetown.

The club is a membership organization open to all Democrats. It's independent of the Sussex County Democratic Party, but encourages members to actively support Democratic candidates and office holders throughout the county.

For more club information contact Peter Schott at 226-0196 or Lisa Haupt at 202-841-4013.

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