Bonnie Osler and Rob Morgan were the big winners in the Lewes election May 10.
The one-term incumbent and the newcomer set themselves apart over the last few months to become the clear choices for Lewes voters. Osler earned 613 votes and Morgan collected 537, while challenger Mike Mahaffie gathered 262.
“I am gratified, and I am humbled,” said Osler. “I asked the folks at the candidate forum that if they liked what I was doing to give me another two years to work on it, and they did. I'm very, very thankful.”
Osler, a retired Washington, D.C., lawyer, said she is ready to continue working on the big issues facing Lewes, including the comprehensive plan and development.
“We have big land-use issues, zoning issues, but we also have to keep the fiscal house in order and keep Lewes Lewes,” she said.
Election officials reported 772 of the 1,122 registered voters, or nearly 69 percent, participated in the election. City hall received 108 absentee ballots and 664 voters in person.
Morgan, who was optimistic just before polls closed, was elated with the results just a few minutes later.
After making an unsuccessful bid for council in 2012, Morgan got more involved with the city's commissions and committees. Through that involvement, he was introduced to a lot of people and better learned the wants and needs of Lewes' residents.
“It reflects a degree of confidence in me from the people, and I'm going to do my best to justify that,” he said.
Morgan, also a retired lawyer, said he knows there is a big learning curve for any new city council member, so he is eager to jump in and get up to speed with everything facing Lewes. However, with experience on the city's finance committee and planning commission, Morgan enters into the picture already knowledgeable in many areas.
“I'm looking forward to to sinking my teeth into some of the issues,” he said. “And also learning all I can about the background to the issues.”
Osler and Morgan will be sworn in for two-year terms at the Monday, May 19, city council meeting. Joining them will be new Mayor Ted Becker, who ran unopposed for the office occupied by Jim Ford for the last 10 years. He said he is looking forward to continuing to work with Osler and beginning a new partnership with Morgan.
“We had three wonderful candidates,” he said. “All three of them brought strong interest in the city.”
He said he is hopeful Mahaffie will stay involved with the city – he has been a member of the planning commission since 1999 and has been the chairman since 2009.
“He would've been a great member of council, but I'm very happy that he's not out of the picture,” Becker said. “He will be a very strong member of the planning commission and, who knows, he may run again in the future.”