Six candidates were vying for three at-large seats on Delaware City Council, including two incumbents in Mayor Carolyn Riggle and Vice Mayor Kent Shafer, and four newcomers in Catlin Frazier, Heather Rodenborg, Mark Butler and Linda Shearer. Following Tuesday’s election, the community has spoken, and they showed considerable support for the job the current council is doing.
Both incumbents have been reelected to another term as Riggle and Shafer received the highest number of votes. Riggle led all candidates with 3,894 votes received, while Shafer was selected on 3,099 ballots. Joining the two incumbents will be Frazier, who was elected to her first term after receiving 2,908 votes.
Shearer (2,471 votes), Butler (2,377 votes) and Rodenborg (1,854 votes) rounded out the voting.
“It feels wonderful. It makes me really proud that the voters wanted me for another term,” Riggle said of being reelected.
Riggle said there are a few projects she wants to see through to the end, such as the Point project, which is why another term is so important to her.
While she is proud to be elected to another term, Riggle said there is no time to rest on her laurels as the work doesn’t stop. With a Delaware Planning Commission meeting scheduled for Wednesday evening, which is set to include the controversial Addison proposal, Riggle said it will “hit me in the face” during the meeting that there is plenty of work ahead in her next term.
Shafer said the feel going into reelection is different than when he was voted into his first term for multiple reasons, primarily because voters were evaluating him based on a track record.
“I’m honored to have another chance to continue to serve,” Shafer said. “You want to believe that your constituents believe you’re doing the right thing, but you don’t know until they turn and vote. So I’m honored to have another term.”
He added, “By now, people have hopefully seen me and the decisions I have made, and they’ve observed me. So now it’s a question of do they feel I am the right guy for the job, and am I doing the job the way they want it done? When you get reelected, it kind of reinforces that you are doing the right thing and doing the job the way they want me to.”
Frazier said she always had reasonable expectations of winning when she decided to announce her candidacy. Having lived in Delaware for a decade, during which she’s been keyed on issues facing the city, Frazier said she always believed election to council would be her outcome.
“I am grateful to this community that I have chosen to make my home in, and I am happy that I have their support,” Frazier said.
She added, “I am ready to roll up my sleeves. We have a lot of issues in front of council that I’ve tried to keep my finger on the pulse of for over two years, so I’m ready to hit the ground running and support this community’s issues.”
Tackett elected in First Ward
In addition to the three at-large seats up for grabs on Delaware City Council, the city’s First Ward representative was also on the ballot following former councilman Chris Jones’ resignation in June.
Stephen Tackett was appointed to serve as the interim representative by council in July, carrying the seat to November when the citizens of the ward could elect their long-term replacement. On Tuesday, Tackett was elected to continue serving the ward on council as he defeated lone challenger Linsey Griffith.
Tackett received 924 votes, which represented 57.53% of all votes cast, while Griffith received 682 votes. The unexpired term ends in November 2023.
“It feels incredible,” Tackett told The Gazette. “To look and see that nearly 1,000 people voted for me, I never in my wildest dreams would have expected that. When I look at the precinct that I grew up in, I had so many folks come out and vote for me.”
He added, “Next to my fiance saying yes to marrying me, I would say it’s probably one of the best feelings I’ve ever had.”
Tackett recalled a comment he heard when he was initially appointed to the interim position that questioned if he even knew anyone in the First Ward. “I would like to say that, yeah, I guess I know a few people in the First Ward,” he joked.
Like Riggle, Tackett said it’s immediately “back to business” in addressing the community’s issues, beginning with Wednesday’s planning commission meeting.
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.