Sussex County Delaware
Reed Holds On to
Sheriff's Office
Sussex County Sheriff ...

Robert Reed 27,850 votes
Marshall Craft 21,653 votes

Photo: Sheriff Robert Reed

In a race that was as much a referendum as an election, incumbent Sheriff Robert Reed defeated challenger Marshall Craft Sr. by nearly 13 percent in the battle for Sussex County sheriff.

Sheriff Robert ReedReed earned 27,850 votes to Craft's 21,653 votes for a margin of 56.3 percent to 43.7 percent.

Reed's victory could well be seen as a desire by Sussex Countians to have their own law enforcement department as opposed to the outsourcing of police services by the county council to the Delaware State Police.

"This is definitely a referendum for the people of Sussex County," said Reed. "They basically said they want law enforcement in the sheriff's department. We're excited the people have spoken. There's so much more that we can do for the people of Sussex County."

Reed, a 52-year-old Republican from Bridgeville, won the office in 1998 and created a storm of controversy by attempting to return law enforcement powers to the department, powers he said are guaranteed for sheriffs across the state by the Delaware Constitution.

He proposed a plan to set up a 32-person department to county council in 2000, but council opted in 2002 to spend more money to bring 20 more state troopers into the county over the next five years. Reed currently has a lawsuit pending against Attorney General M. Jane Brady regarding the powers of his office.

Reed said that although the victory is sweeter than his first win in 1998, "I know what's ahead of me."

Craft, a 59-year-old Bridgeville Democrat, was making his first run at public office. He said he would run the sheriff's department the way county council has desired by not seeking law enforcement powers for the department.

He said he would implement a senior citizens' help line and work to improve relations with state and municipal police departments.

General Election Overview | Campaign 2002 Index

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