GOP hopefuls convene in Dover following election

At the Delaware Agricultural Museum and Village in Dover on Tuesday, GOP supporters watch as the voting results start coming in. (Special to the Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh)

DOVER — Delaware Republicans gathered at the end of a long day of voting Tuesday, ready for the final stretch of this election season.

Speaking with media while cutting brownies and directing where a banner should be hung and a podium moved, state party chair Jane Brady said: “I think everybody is still a little anxious until the votes come in. I’m optimistic nationally, but I don’t know how (Donald) Trump will do in Delaware. It’s going to be tough for him, but nationally, we’re optimistic.”

That indeed turned out to be the president’s fate, as Democratic nominee Joe Biden rolled to a victory in Delaware, which was confirmed on a TV tuned to Fox News for the crowd inside the Delaware Agricultural Museum and Village.

About 150 members of the GOP were expected to attend the gathering, spokesman Cameron Watts said.

State Sen. Dave Lawson, R-Marydel, sounded relieved that the polls had finally closed in his reelection campaign against Jaci Hugg.

“I don’t know what it is to be pregnant, but I’m ready to have this baby,” he said.

“I’m glad to have it over. It’s been a very odd campaign year. It was a battle of signs and the internet. You really couldn’t get out and interact with the groups of people you normally would, so it was just very odd.

“But it was a good challenge at the same time. It is what it is. It’s always good to get together with like-minded folks.”

Once the votes were tabulated, Sen. Lawson was prepared to accept the results and move forward.

“It’s the way our system works, and after this is over, we need to do one thing — to put our country back together and stop this,” he said.

“We need to sit down together and talk. You might like chocolate ice cream, and I might like vanilla, but that doesn’t make us enemies. We need to quit this.”

Exercising his right to vote for the first time, Felton resident Alex Dewey, 18, voted absentee and spent his time Tuesday meeting with voters, while supporting state Rep. Lyndon Yearick’s, R-Camden, bid to return to office. Mr. Dewey went to Caesar Rodney and Polytech high schools during the day, along with Postlethwait Middle School.

“I think it’s an important part of our country that we as citizens should vote,” said Mr. Dewey, who was wearing a red “Make America Great Again” hat.

“It’s especially important to me because less than 50% of young voters actually vote, so I feel like I should. This is my first time actually being here and taking part, so yes, I’m very excited.”

Gubernatorial candidate Julianne Murray described herself as “exhausted” Tuesday night but said the day earlier was “energizing.” She sounded accepting of her fate because “we did everything we could up to this point, and now, it’s in the voters’ hands.”

Later in the evening, Ms. Murray planned to spend time with her supporters in Georgetown. She visited three voting locations during the day and opted not to do more when “hilarious, real-life things came up,” and she instead dealt with a broken heating system at her home and a “dog issue.”

Ms. Murray certainly convinced Kathy Houghton, who spent the day outside polling places in the Stanton area to show her support. Ms. Houghton said she met Ms. Murray at a meet-and-greet event in Georgetown and was “super impressed.”

“It’s been rewarding, and an adventure and an honor to be part of a campaign that will, hopefully, put Delaware on the right path,” she said.

A veteran of several election days as a candidate, state Rep. Jeffrey Spiegelman, R-Clayton, could only imagine what Ms. Murray and all the hopeful candidates were experiencing.

“During the day, you’re too busy. You don’t have time to think much,” he said. “You’re shaking hands. You’re going from place to place.

“That moment, though, between when the polls close and you’re driving to wherever you’re going, is a very serene, interesting moment, so certain people handle it in different ways.

“I know candidates who take that moment to let out some frustration, whatever it is, and I know some candidates who take that moment and just can’t wait to get home to their family, their kids, for just a few minutes.”