Rehoboth Beach mayoral candidate Edward Chrzanowski has dropped out of the 2020 race.
In a letter to constituents June 18, Chrzanowski, a sitting commissioner who is nine months into his first three-year-term, said he was supporting Mayor Paul Kuhns’ bid for re-election. Former Commissioner Stan Mills is now Kuhns’ only opponent.
Chrzanowski, who filed his paperwork for mayor on the final day possible, said he had come to his decision after lengthy discussions with Kuhns about Kuhns’ vision and his commitment to do what is necessary to continue to move the city forward.
“I believe he is sincere in his commitment to make operational, structural and personnel changes, if necessary, to achieve these objectives,” said Chrzanowski. “Specifically, he assured me that he will continue to work closely with the commissioners and our stakeholders to be more transparent and inclusive in decision-making; will focus on accountability and enhancing the customer experience and city services for our citizens and businesses; and will take proactive actions to improve communications and stakeholder outreach, so that all voices in our community are heard.”
Kuhns said he was happy Chrzanowski supported his candidacy following his withdrawal. He said he and Chrzanowski will continue to work together with all the commissioners for the benefit of the community.
“Edward and I have similar thoughts for the path forward of our city,” said Kuhns, in an email June 22.
Mills said the meeting between Kuhns and Chrzanowski was unusual.
"Edwards’ letter states that he withdrew from the race because he received some assurances and commitments from Paul. That strikes me as highly irregular and follows many incidents that have raised questions about the mayor’s lack of transparency. But you would have to ask them to get more detail,” said Mills, in an email June 22. “Whatever they agreed to should be public so the voters can decide who they are voting for with full knowledge of their deal."
Kuhns said he and Chrzanowski have met many times since Chrzanowski became a commissioner. He said he has met with other commissioners, and other commissioners have met with each other.
“We are all stakeholders in our community,” said Kuhns. “No assurances have been made other than all of the commissioners will represent all of our constituents. Edward made the choice of his own volition.”
Had Chrzanowski stayed in the race, it would have been the first time in over 30 years there were more than two candidates for mayor in Rehoboth.
Rehoboth’s municipal election this year also features four candidates for two commissioner seats.
The candidates include two former commissioners – Patrick Gossett, who served for nine years, and Jay Lagree, who served for 10 months after being appointed to fill Kuhns’ seat when he became mayor; and two first-time candidates, Purple Parrot owner Hugh Fuller and Rachel Macha, a member of the planning commission, and parks and shade tree commission.
Sitting Commissioners Lisa Schlosser and Steve Scheffer are not running for re-election.
Rehoboth 2020 municipal election information
The election is Saturday, Aug. 8. Absentee ballots will be available beginning Wednesday, June 24. Ballots will be sent to everyone who has an absentee ballot request form on file. The deadline for the city to mail ballots is Tuesday, Aug. 4. Ballots must be received by mail or in person before the polls close on the day of the election.
To be eligible to vote, a person must register on or before Thursday, July 9. Any qualified elector may request an absentee ballot to vote by filing a request for an absentee ballot form, which is available online, no later than noon, Friday, Aug. 7. For more information, contact Donna Moore at 302-227-6181, Ext. 108, or go online to www.cityofrehoboth.com.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include comments from mayoral candidates Paul Kuhns and Stan Mills.