Lifetime resident and longtime educator Bradley Layfield has put his hat in the ring for the new Sussex County representative seat, District 4.
Layfield’s roots run deep in the Millsboro area that runs along the Indian River, and preserving the waterway is his first priority.
“Keeping our river clean and navigable for commerce, boating and recreation. It’s at the heart of a lot of the economy for that area. It’s considered a resort area because it’s close to the river,” said Layfield, 42, a Republican, who lives in the Jersey Road home his great-grandfather built along the river where he worked as a waterman.
Unlike the days when his great-grandfather could take a boat down the Indian River to the ocean, Layfield said the river is difficult to navigate from the Indian River power plant to the town of Millsboro. Dredging the waterway would be his first priority.
“Unless it’s a lunar high tide, you’re going to be hard-pressed to get out there,” he said.
Second on his priority list, Layfield said, is to address the crime in the area. Long Neck and Oak Orchard are at the heart of opioid crime in the area, which ultimately promotes other types of crime. “A lot of the drug problem goes hand in hand with the crime problem,” he said.
Crime prevention and working with local police officers is key to fighting the drug scourge, he said. His grandfather, father and brother were all state troopers, he said, and keeping that connection to improve safety in the area is key.
Lastly, Layfield said, education is his third priority. After 21 years as an educator, the education field is where Layfield is probably best known. In 2001, after graduating from University of Delaware, he got a teaching job at his high school alma mater, Sussex Central, and over the years worked his way up to principal, a position he continues to hold today.
Layfield said he is a big supporter of local control. “Trusting our superintendents and freely elected school boards is something I’ll be an advocate for,” he said.
Until recently, Layfield had served on the Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association for about a decade, the last six years as chairman of the board.
Layfield said serving on the DIAA taught him a great deal about how state government works.
“It was a good learning tool in learning about state processes such as the sunset committee and working regulations through the system for approval,” he said.