Thursday, September 11, 2008

Primary Results from Wilmington

Buried in the big news from Tuesday were some surprising results from Wilmington. Most observers were surprised that Norman Griffiths outpolled Theo Gregory in the race for City Council president. While both are well respected, Theo was seen as having the inside track as chair of the Democratic city committee. As happened with John Carney, being the favorite among party regulars was not enough to get him across the finish line first when faced with an able and determined rival. Even though Norm Griffiths is seen as a somewhat reserved guy, he was out there going door to door across the city, and had workers deployed in election districts that Theo didn't cover.
The Democratic Party in Wilmington isn't a single organization, but a network of smaller fiefdoms with complicated and often conflicting loyalties. Even when party loyalists voice their preferences, candidates like John Carney and Theo Gregory still had to patch together an effective street organization out of many diverse pieces.
The election in Wilmington signalled something of a youth movement. Three relatively young men won elections over older rivals: Ernest M. Congo in the 2nd district, Steve Martelli in the 8th, and Justen Wright in an at-large slot. Congo and Wright both come from prominent funeral home families. Two other young contestants gave established Council members a scare: Nnamdi Chukwuocha came within two points of Charle Potter, Jr. and Richard Dyton fell just 41 votes short of Stephanie Bolden.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would be interested in your expert take on what these elections, coupled with that of Mayor Baker, spell for the future of Wilmington city proper....

3:04 AM, September 12, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looking at the unofficial results, another newcomer, Darius Brown, out polled two "retired" city councilmen Guy and Hutt. To paraphrase one comment heard at a polling place in 1st Council District, we need some fresh faces. Charles Potter only held his seat by 76 votes, of 1956 cast.

Loretta Walsh 5013
Justen Wright 4704
Bud Freel 4411
Darius Brown 3259
Sam Guy 2280
Gary Hutt 1961
Davis 1576
White 1543

1:47 PM, September 14, 2008  

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