Newcomer Polce, incumbents Hare, Neil win election in city of Dover

3rd District incumbent Fred Neil gives supporter Dottie Lyons a hug as she heads in to vote at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church on Tuesday. (Delaware State News/Mike Finney)

DOVER — Eight candidates were circling around three seats for spots on Dover’s City Council on Tuesday night.

When the music finally stopped and the polls came to a close, newcomer Tanner Polce had captured a seat in the 1st District, Incumbent William “Bill” Hare won his seat in the 2nd District and Incumbent Fred Neil was re-elected to his 3rd District seat.

Dover City Council President Tim Slavin (at-large) and David Anderson (4th District) ran unopposed and are assured terms of four more years.

The results were read by Anita Boyer, a member of the city of Dover’s Election Board, at the Elks Lodge #1903 at 200 Saulsbury Road Tuesday evening.

Mr. Polce, who won the seat being vacated by retiring Dover councilman James Hutchison, garnered 212 votes compared to Matt Lindell’s 172 and William Garfinkel’s 132. Mr. Polce’s 40-vote win over Mr. Lindell was the closet contest of the election.

Mr. Polce, who won 40 percent of the votes in the 1st District, said he was excited with the results and is ready to not only get to work with city council, but to listen and learn.

“It was a fun process and a great learning experience, especially as a young guy,” Mr. Polce said. “Hitting doors was incredible. My team was absolutely amazing. There was a lot of energy with everyone. All three of us (in the 1st District) ran a clean race and the overall outcome was great.

From left, 1st District candidates Tanner Polce, William Garfinkel and Matt Lindell (all seated) await the reading of the city of Dover’s Municipal Elections on Tuesday night. (Delaware State News/Mike Finney)

“I’m going to listen to start. I think our community, especially in the 1st (District), is a community that is slightly more unique and I just have to listen to the constituents who now have entrusted me to represent the district.”

Mr. Hare earned 334 votes compared to James Galvin’s 160 votes in the 2nd District and Mr. Neil secured 280 votes to claim the 3rd District seat against Lance Moffa, who received 30 votes, and Jane Rolfes, who got 27 votes.

Mr. Hare, who won 68 percent of the votes in the 2nd District, is glad that two of the incumbents – he and Mr. Neil – emerged victorious and is ready to get back to work.

“Another four years, thanks to the people of the 2nd District,” Mr. Hare said. “I’m very appreciative and I’ll try to do the best I can like I’ve been doing.

“I just want to try to keep the budget balanced and have no tax increases and get the new police chief in place and keep the city moving forward.”

Mr. Neil’s whopping margin of 250 votes over Mr. Moffa was the largest for an election winner on Tuesday. He secured 83 percent of the votes in the 3rd District.

“I’ve got a whole four years and let’s see if we get to finish what we started this time,” Mr. Neil said. “I think it was pretty much an affirmation of the fact that this council was a good council.

“We did lose Jim (Hutchison), but I think Tanner (Polce) is going to be an excellent councilman and I think his background is there, so it looks very good for us. I’m also delighted to be able to be working with Bill Hare again and I think we work well together.”

Only 1,347 votes were cast among the three districts that had contested races.

It was a lower turnout than even in 2015, the last time Dover held a Municipal Election, when only 2,116 of 22,837 (9.27 percent) of the registered voters in the city turned out to vote.

The election results will be audited by the city of Dover of Dover Board of Elections at 10 this morning in the City Hall conference room. The results of the audit will be made available for public review.

Poliquin raising funds for special election

Ron Poliquin is the only candidate who has officially filed to run in a special election for the 1st District on May 17.

The special election will fill the 1st District seat that was vacated by Jim Hosfelt Jr. after he was elected to become a commissioner on Kent County Levy Court.

Mr. Poliquin’s campaign has raised $3,525 over the last 11 days. At that pace, the candidate is raising $320 a day to get his message out.

“It’s no mistake that my campaign committee is named ‘Taxpayers for Poliquin’ because that’s who I’m looking out for,” Mr. Poliquin said. “Receiving this many contributions in such a short amount of time represents the wide breath of support I enjoy around the 1st District.”

 

Delaware State News staff writer Mike Finney can be reached at mfinney@newszap.com.

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