Hosfelt elected to Kent Levy Court

 

Jim Hosfelt, a former Dover police chief and current city councilman, campaigns at the Delaware Fire School polling place on Tuesday. The Republican will serve out the remaining two years of the current term for the 2nd District Levy Court commissioner’s seat. The seat was vacated when Democrat Brad Eaby resigned to take a state job. (Delaware State News/Marc Clery)

DOVER — Republican Jim Hosfelt received the news Tuesday night at the Kent County Republican Headquarters in Dover that he’ll be serving as the new 2nd District Levy Court commissioner.

According to the Department of Elections, Mr. Hosfelt won the commissioner’s seat by taking more than 62 percent of the total votes cast in a low-turnout special election. He garnered 1,107 votes to 660 for Democrat Andrea Kreiner.

“We’re excited about the results and excited for the chance to serve the constituency of the 2nd District,” said Mr. Hosfelt. “It means a lot to us. The district showed a great deal of faith in us tonight and our goal is to live up to the promises we made and represent the district the best way we can.”

In January, Mr. Hosfelt and Ms. Kreiner announced their candidacies for the seat vacated by Bradley Eaby, a Democrat. Mr. Eaby’s resignation left the Levy Court with a majority 4-2 Democratic margin. With Mr. Hosfelt’s victory at the polls, the court is now a 4-3 split ­— still a Democrat majority.

District 2 Levy Court candidate Andrea Kreiner campaigns at the the Elks Lodge polling place in Dover on Tuesday. (Delaware State News/Marc Clery)

Mr. Hosfelt will be taking the court seat with only part of a four-year term remaining because Mr. Eaby vacated the seat with two years remaining in his term.

“My understanding is that I would have to be running again for the seat in 2018,” said Mr, Hosfelt.

Mr. Hosfelt’s background includes service in the U.S. Air Force as a security policeman between 1980 and 1987. He also served with the Air Force Reserve prior to being hired by the City of Dover in 1988 as a police officer. He was promoted to chief of police in 2010.

He retired in 2014 after 26 years of service. He is a graduate of Delaware Technical Community College and the FBI National Academy. He is currently Dover city councilman. This seat will also need to be filled when Mr. Hosfelt takes his new position on the court.

“It’s my understanding from a conversation with the city clerk that the city council will need to hold a special election to fill the council seat as well,” he said.

During the campaign, Mr Hosfelt noted that one of the most pressing concerns facing the 2nd District is the state’s looming deficit.

“The majority of the voters are concerned with the State of Delaware’s budget deficit and what impact it will have on their county taxes,” he said “Most are frustrated that we find ourselves in this position with an estimated $350 million shortfall. Rather than the state taking responsibility for its deficit, most of us anticipate they will push some of the responsibility onto the counties.”

On hearing the news, Ms. Kreiner congratulated her opponent and thanked her supporters.

“I have to admit some disappointment, but I’d like to congratulate my opponent on a well run campaign,” she said.

“I want to thank my incredible volunteers and supporters, many of whom were involved in their very first political campaign. Their energy, enthusiasm and hard work really carried me through.

“I’m committed to continue to work to make Kent County a place where we all want to and are able to live, work and raise our families.”

She said she accepts Mr. Hosfelt as her representative and hopes some of the concerns she raised during the campaign are addressed.

“I hope he also feels that we need to focus our economic development towards jobs and opportunities for our 20- and 30-year-olds,” said Ms. Kreiner. “I still think that is the biggest challenge that the county is facing. They are a vital part of our community that we can’t lose and they’re our future tax base. I hope he brings those concerns forward.”

Elections data shows that the 2nd District has 21,029 registered voters — 10,045 Democrats, 5,626 Republicans and 5,358 other.

Staff writer Ian Gronau can be reached at 741-8272 or igronau@newszap.com

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