Sussex voters pick Rieley, Hudson for County Council seats

SUSSEX COUNTY – Republican voters have spoken, and John Rieley of Millsboro and Douglas Hudson of Clarksville are headed to the Nov. 6 general election ballot as GOP candidates for Sussex County Council.

Mr. Rieley, with longstanding family ties rooted to farming and the financial banking/investment world, topped Kevin Christopher of Laurel in the District 5 primary.

John Rieley was elected as the Republican candidate for Sussex County Council in Thursday’s Primary election.

In District 4, Mr. Hudson, a realtor and retired state trooper, won the GOP nod, topping George Parish, a former Sussex County Clerk of the Peace from Millsboro.

Mr. Rieley will square off against Ellen Magee, a Democrat from the Selbyville area in November.

Douglas Hudson won the Republican nomination for Sussex County Council District 4 in Thursday’s primary.

“Obviously, we’ve got to hit the ground running tomorrow. We’ve only got 60 days. It’s a sprint from here on out,” said Mr. Rieley, who received 56 percent of the vote (1,688 to 1,310). “We’ve got our work cut out for us. We have to get reorganized and replenished and start hitting the streets.”

Mr. Hudson, who outpolled Mr. Parish 2,168 to 1,507 for 59 percent, faces Democrat Paulette Rappa of Millsboro two months from now.

“You never want to take anything (for granted). You’ve got to work really hard, and we did. We worked very, very hard and long and it paid off. Now, we’ve just got to get right back at it,” said Mr. Hudson. “I just want to stay humble, and we’ve got to get right back to work.”

Mr. Parish was gracious in defeat. “I have called Mr. Douglas Hudson and congratulated him on the win, and I have told him I would be delighted to vote for him in the November General Election,” Mr. Parish said. “He will be an outstanding county councilman for Sussex County.”

The District 4 winner in November will succeed Republican George Cole, who is stepping down after 32 consecutive years on county council – the longest council tenure in Sussex history.

The 5th District winner in November will succeed first-term county councilman Rob Arlett of Frankford, who was an overwhelming winner in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate. Mr. Arlett is seeking to replace Sen. Thomas Carper, a decisive winner in Thursday’s Democratic primary.

Mr. Rieley reflected on Thursday’s outcome.

“I just want to compliment my opponent. I think Kevin is an outstanding young man and I think he represents a lot of the future of the Republican Party in Delaware. He ran a tough race, but he ran a clean race. Hats off to him,” said Mr. Rieley. “I’m very grateful for the voters. The turnout was not as heavy as we’d all like to see, but I think it was better than a lot of other places in the state. I worked down at Roxana a good part of the day and the turnout there was very good. Again, thank you to the voters of the 5th District, and I look forward to hopefully being their next county councilman and serve them.”

“I’m going to give congratulations to John. Definitely, the team he put together pulled this one out,” said Mr. Christophel, branch manager of the Laurel Bank of Delmarva. “I can’t say I’m not disappointed that’s for sure. I’m sure I’ll be back; I just don’t when or what race. I really just want to wish John the best. He did a good job and he deserves it with the hard work he put into it.”

“I got to meet a lot of good people, a lot of nice people,” Mr. Christophel added. “All in all, I thought the race went well. We both put in a lot of hard work. And he deserves it.”

In the Republican primary for the 35th Representative District, Jesse Vanderwende, a farmer and businessman from Bridgeville, outpolled Robert Mitchell by a 1,323 to 958 tally. Unchallenged in November, Mr. Vanderwende will assume the General Assembly seat held by David Wilson, who is seeking to move to the state senate in the 18th District.

“I’m looking forward to serving the people of the 35th District,” said Mr. Vanderwende. “I have enjoyed door-knocking, getting to know the folks. I understand the task that is ahead of me and I look forward to bringing a conservative voice for those people in the 35th in Dover.”

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