Two people submitted their candidacy paperwork this week, which means there will be an election in Rehoboth Beach this year. Commissioner Jay Lagree and first-time candidate Don Preston both filed May 30.
Lagree is seeking the second term of his second stint as a commissioner. He served for 10 months beginning in late 2017 after being appointed to fill former Mayor Paul Kuhns’ vacant commissioner seat. Kuhns had defeated longtime Mayor Sam Cooper in the mayoral race that year.
When reached for comment, Lagree said he wanted to wait until after the filing deadline had passed to discuss his candidacy.
Preston said he’s been a part of the Nation’s Summer Capital for decades, calling it home since 2009. With more than 35 years of professional experience, he said, he wants to lend a hand toward steering the city in a direction that harmoniously honors its past and small-town character, protects its natural resources, promotes its unique coastal advantages, and thoughtfully considers and embraces new ideas and ways.
“Achieving this important balance requires rules that are clear, fairly applied and enforced, and durable,” said Preston in an email June 1. “It also requires a city government that matches the needs, is adaptable, focused and user-friendly.”
Preston said he’s excited to roll up his sleeves and get to work on important changes that will help the city realize next-level success.
“I want our great city to be the best that it can possibly be for the people who live and work here, the people who own and operate businesses here, the many thousands of people who visit here and for future generations,” said Preston. “I believe that an uncompromising commitment to bringing people together, having a strategic plan, focus, and respectful engagement are the way to get there, and I would be honored to serve our community.”
Mayor Stan Mills, who filed for re-election May 16, and Commissioner Patrick Gossett, who filed for re-election May 25, are also candidates this year. As of press deadline June 1, no one had filed to challenge Mills.
2023 election information
Rehoboth Beach’s annual municipal election is Saturday, Aug. 12. Interested candidates must turn in a petition signed by at least 10 qualified voters, but not more than 25, to the city manager by 4:30 p.m., Monday, June 5. To get a nominating petition, submit a request to email@example.com or call Donna Moore or Steven Perry 302-227-6181, Ext. 159.
To be eligible to vote, a person must be 18, a resident, freeholder or leaseholder, and registered in the city’s books of registered voters. If a registered voter misses two consecutive annual elections, their name will be placed on an inactive list and they will be notified by postcard requesting their voting status. The deadline to register is on or before Thursday, July 13.
Absentee ballots will be available beginning Wednesday, June 28. Ballots will be sent to everyone who has an absentee ballot request form on file. Any qualified elector may request an absentee ballot to vote by filing a request for an absentee ballot form no later than noon, Friday, Aug. 11. The deadline for the city to mail ballots is Tuesday, Aug. 8. Ballots must be received by mail or in person before the polls close on the day of the election.
For more information, contact Donna Moore at 302-227-6181, ext. 108, or go to cityofrehoboth.com.