Gum retains Millsboro at-large council seat

MILLSBORO — Larry Gum, who has served several terms on Millsboro town council and several years as mayor, retained his council seat, outpolling challenger Denise Blake Saturday for the at-large seat in the town’s 2020 municipal election.

In the six-hour election, Mr. Gum garnered 77 votes to top the spirited campaign by Ms. Blake, who drew 52 votes.

Larry Gum

Council members Ron O’Neal and Michelle Truitt, who currently serves as mayor as selected by peers, were unopposed in re-election bids.

All council terms are three years.

It was Millsboro’s first contested election since 2015.

“It’s always good to know people are interested. That’s how I looked at it,” said Mr. Gum. “I talked to Denise this morning when I went up to vote and she was there. I wished her well. I think we would have been fine with either one.”

“It was a good run,” said Ms. Blake. “You win some, you lose some. But it was a good run.”

Mr. Gum said he sought to remain on board as Millsboro continues to grow.

“There is a lot on the plate that I wanted to come back for three more years,” Mr. Gum said. “We’re still looking at building a police station, our new town hall and we’re getting ready to build a water treatment plant. And we’re building a new water tower. So, there is so much in progress that I hated not to see through. So, three more years will give me a chance to complete a lot of things that town has on the plate that I would like to help with.”

Millsboro Town Manager Sheldon Hudson noted the positive campaign of both candidates.

“They both seemed to run a campaign with class, and that seems to be a lost art, or a dying art,” Mr. Hudson said. “So, I commend both of the candidates for running what seemed to be classy campaigns. It was a real pleasure from my seat to see that type of quality ‘campaignmanship.’”

Mr. Gum (At Large), Ms. Truitt (District 3) and Mr. O’Neal (District 2) will be sworn in at the Monday, July 6 council meeting, which will be held in the reception/banquet hall at Millsboro Town Center. It will be open to the public, with physical distancing protocol in place, and will also be available via teleconference/conference call per Gov. John Carney’s COVID-19 State of Emergency order.

That July 6 meeting will also include council’s annual reorganization, which includes selection of mayor, vice mayor, pro tem, secretary and treasurer.