Mike Mahaffie makes run for Lewes council

Three candidates seek two seats May 10
April 8, 2014
Mike Mahaffie, 52, is seeking a seat on Lewes City Council. SOURCE SUBMITTED

Lewes resident Mike Mahaffie is seeking a seat on Lewes City Council.

The 52-year-old first-time candidate said he isn't focused on fixing anything in Lewes, but rather he's looking out for the best interest of the city's future.

“I don't think I'm a candidate that has an agenda to change a specific thing,” he said. “I think I can help the city handle whatever comes to us. I want to be a useful part of the discussion to keep the city going in the right direction.”

Mahaffie is one of three people seeking two seats on council. He will face off against one-term incumbent Bonnie Osler and fellow challenger Rob Morgan. The council seat of Deputy Mayor Ted Becker is up for grabs in the Saturday, May 10 election, as the 10-year councilman will become mayor after no challengers emerged in the mayoral race.

Mahaffie has been a member of the planning commission since 1999 and served as the group's chairman since 2009. He helped craft the city's comprehensive development plan and zoning map as well as several of the city's planning-related ordinances.

“I've been involved with a lot of the major land-use planning issues for a number of years,” he said. “I like to think I took a leadership role in that.”

Coupled with his diverse career in state government, Mahaffie said, he brings an understanding of how smaller and larger governments work and how they can work together.

“I'm trying to focus on the fact that I can bring a strength of knowledge of the city, the region and the state to council,” he said, “which is certainly not lacking, but it is not a bad thing to have.”

Mahaffie is a 1982 graduate of Colby College in Maine, where he earned a degree in English. He moved to Sussex County in 1986 and worked at WGMD. Then in 1989, he moved into the public sector, accepting a job as a public information officer in state government. He has remained a state employee since, now serving as acting director of the Delaware Government Information Center.

Over his 25-year career with the state, Mahaffie has worked at the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, Delaware Economic Development Office, Office of State Planning Coordination and Department of State.

Originally from the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C., Mahaffie and his wife, Karen, moved to Lewes in 1987, where they raised two daughters. He maintains a blog about his life and living in Lewes. To view the blog go to

Candidates forum set

The Lewes Homeowners Association will host a candidate forum at 7 p.m., Friday, April 25, at Lewes Presbyterian Church. While there will be no election for the Board of Public Works, the association has asked those who filed to run to appear at the forum. April 25 is also the deadline for Lewes residents to register to vote in the city's Saturday, May 10 election. For more information, go to

Editor's note: An article appearing in the Friday, April 4 edition stated Councilman Fred Beaufait had filed to run in this year's election. Beaufait was reelected to another two-year term in 2013.