Rocha files for chance to return to 1st District Dover council seat

DOVER — Gerald L. Rocha Sr. has really only gotten a small taste of being a Dover city councilman since winning a special election in mid-August to fill Tanner Polce’s vacated seat.

It turns out that he likes the flavor of being a city representative and is ready to come back for more.

Councilman Rocha filed his nominating petition on Tuesday and is seeking re-election to his 1st District council seat. His petition has been received and verified by the city clerk.

“The most pressing concerns to the constituents are the city’s rise in violent crime, safety, property issues, and problems with infrastructure,” said Councilman Rocha, who took over Mr. Polce’s seat, whose term expires in May. “Other matters include downtown parking and speeding through neighborhoods.”

Mr. Rocha joins William “Bill” Hare (2nd District) and Fred Neil (3rd District) as candidates who are officially seeking re-election in the 2021 Dover Municipal Election that will be held on April 20.

New political newcomer LaVaughn McCutchen recently filed a nominating petition to run for the Dover City Council at-large seat that is currently held by Tim Slavin, who has said he will not be pursuing re-election.

The filing and petition deadline for candidates interested in running in the Dover Municipal Election is Feb. 12 at 4:30 p.m.

Mr. Rocha tallied 364 votes to Will Garfinkel’s 303 as he claimed his first position in public office as a representative of the 1st District by a winning margin of 61 votes back in August.

When he was sworn into office in September, Mr. Rocha became the fourth Black man to comprise the nine Dover city councilman, joining David Anderson, Roy Sudler Jr. and Ralph Taylor Jr. as minority city representatives.

The 1st District that Councilman Rocha represents is located in the west and northwest sections of Dover, including neighborhoods such as Bicentennial Village, Fox Hall and Fox Hall West, Heatherfield, Emerald Pointe, along with the Woodmill, Brandywine and Country Village apartment complexes, among others.

“I believe I have the leadership experience and knowledge to make necessary improvements to sustain a diverse, vibrant and thriving community,” Mr. Rocha said, at the time of his election. “I want to be sure that when I’m on city council that any decisions I make must benefit all our citizens in the city of Dover.”