Lindell makes most of second chance

DOVER — Matt Lindell found out the hard way how much every single vote counts when he lost a 1st District seat on Dover City Council by just 40 votes in the April 18 municipal election.

Mr. Lindell turned the tables in Tuesday’s special election for the 1st District as he narrowly edged Ron Poliquin by a mere three votes to take the open seat.

Mr. Lindell garnered 230 votes (43.07 percent) while Mr. Poliquin tallied 227 votes (42.51 percent) and Rachel Dunning earned 77 votes (14.42 percent).

Matt Lindell campaigns at the Elks Lodge in Dover on Tuesday. Delaware State News/Marc Clery

The results were read by Anita Boyer, a member of the city’s Election Board, at the Elks Lodge No. 1903 at 200 Saulsbury Road Tuesday evening.

For Mr. Lindell, who will take over the seat vacated by Jim Hosfelt who was elected a Kent County Levy Court Commissioner in March, it has been one long topsy-turvy ride trying to break his way into city politics.

“I think every vote counts and I was able to get out in the neighborhoods more than the last time,” Mr. Lindell said.

“My mom was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer halfway through the last campaign and it was too late to turn around because I had a lot of people counting on me, but my family was first.”

Mr. Lindell’s mother died on April 21.

“It’s been good to get out and get my mind off it and get out and see the people,” he said.

Mr. Lindell is expected to be sworn into office at next Monday’s city council meeting. His term will last until May 13, 2019.

Mr. Lindell will join another council newcomer Tanner Polce as councilmen for the 1st District. Polce was the candidate who beat him by 40 votes on April 18.

For Mr. Poliquin, the result was all too reminiscent of when he came up 12 votes short while running for state representative more than a decade ago.

“It was just disappointing because I felt like I knocked on every door, I felt like I had the votes and I felt like I targeted people,” said Mr. Poliquin. “We just did not do enough to get the people out to vote, and that’s what it comes down to. It’s very disappointing, obviously.

“I wish Mr. Lindell the best. That’s all you can say … it’s crushing.”

Mr. Lindell said he will resign his seat on the Capital School District Board of Education prior to being sworn in to city council.

He said that his time spent on the school board has helped prepare him for his future with Dover’s city council.

“I just want to bring common sense,” Mr. Lindell said. “I think I’ve got a good skill set that I can bring to the council, especially in the midst of trying to hire a new city planner and a new city manager. We had that experience in the (Capital School) District, having a new superintendent and human resource director.

“We’re already tackling the budget issue on the school board level and I think we’re going to be dealing with that same issue with whatever the state decides to do. It’s going to impact municipalities as well.”

He added, “I think I have that skill set that will bring something to the conversation.”

There are 10 absentee ballots that Mr. Poliquin can check out just to make sure there were no mistakes with Tuesday night’s voter count.

“I’ll take a look at them (absentee ballots) just out of prudence, but that will be that,” he said. “I’m going to digest this one and we’ll just move forward.

“I felt like we had the right campaign, the right message and we targeted the right voters, so obviously it’s just disappointing that we fell just short and worked so hard.”

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