Minner Re-elected, Incumbents Rule the Polls
Nov 3, 2004, 00:00

Starting with the governor's race, Election Day 2004 in Sussex County was highlighted by quite a few extremely close races for state and county offices.

Statewide, Democratic Gov. Ruth Ann Minner held onto her office with 50.5 percent of the vote, edging out Republican challenger William Swain Lee, who had 46 percent of the vote. Frank Infante, who ran under the flags of both the Independent and Libertarian parties, garnered 3.5 percent of the vote.

The voters also returned Lt. Gov. John Carney to office, with Carney garnering 61.9 percent of the vote for the state's second-highest office. Republican Jim Ursomarso took 36.4 percent, while Independent candidate Mike Dore took 1.2 percent and Libertarian John Reda took 0.5 percent.

Sussex County Council incumbent Lynn Rogers, Democrat, District 3, held off Republican challenger Judson Bennett by a mere 12 votes, with a total of 8,746 votes to Bennett's 8,734. Bennett has said he will ask for a recount.

In another tight County Council race, incumbent Dale Dukes won with 50.7 percent of the vote, with Republican Michael Vincent taking 48.2 percent and Quentin Wilkerson taking 1.1 percent.  

Another County Council incumbent, Democrat Finley Jones, District 2, had an easier time holding off a challenge from Republican Stella Reed by garnering 58.4 percent of the vote to Reed's 41.6 percent.

In the state House of Representatives, Republican incumbent John Atkins easily defeated Democrat Barbara Lifflander in District 41, with 70.5 percent of the vote to Lifflander's 29.5 percent.

Longtime incumbent Ben Ewing also had an easy time defeating Libertarian challenger John Elliott with 91.8 percent to Elliott's 8.2 percent.

In District 38, incumbent Republican Gerald Hocker also held off Democrat Shirley Price, 61 percent to Price's 39 percent. Price had served two terms in the seat before being narrowly defeated by Hocker in 2002.

Longtime incumbent George Carey holds onto his District 35 seat, defeating challenger Brian Dolan 60.2 percent to 39.8 percent.

In District 14, incumbent Democrat Pete Schwartzkopf easily defeated both challengers, Republican Mary Spicer, who had 31,3 percent and Libertarian Everett Wodiska, who had 0.9 percent to Schwartzkopf's commanding 67.8 percent.

In District 39, 87-year-old Republican incumbent Tina Fallon will return to the state House for a 13th term, having defeated Democrat Thomas Chapman 58.2 percen to 41.8 percent.

Voters also returned two incumbent state senators to office on Tuesday. Republican Gary Simpson took 63.3 percent of the vote in the 18th Senate district, compared to 36.7 percent for Democratic challenger Tom Savage. Democrat Robert Venables also easily defeated Republican Daniel Short in the 21st Senate District, with 59.2 percent of the vote compared to Short's 40.4 percent.

Thelma Monroe, long active in the county's Democratic Party and the former mayor of Millsboro, lost her bid to keep the Clerk of Peace post she was appointed to upon the death of D. Ray Ellerman in March. Republican George Parish won the seat with 55.2 percent of the vote to Monroe's 43.9 percent and John Potter's 0.9 percent.

Democrat Matt Denn was elected Delaware's new insurance commissioner, with 52.5 percent to longtime Republican legislator Dave Ennis's 47.5 percent.

For final vote totals and results by precinct, see the state Department of Elections'  website.


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