SEAFORD – Upon being officially sworn in May 8, Seaford city councilman William “Bill” Bennett’s new role in city government will be that of mayor.
In Seaford’s first contested mayor’s race in 16 years, Mr. Bennett bested councilwoman Patricia Jones in Saturday’s election in which incumbent Grace Peterson and political newcomer David Genshaw secured seats on city council.
Mr. Bennett, whose council seat expires this year, received 422 votes to 191 votes for Ms. Jones, who will keep her unexpired seat on council.
Six-hundred and 22 people – more than half of the city’s registered voters – went to the polls in the six-hour election.
“It was a great turnout,” said Mr. Bennett, who will succeed retiring Mayor Edward H. Butler. “It was a good race. It was nice to see that much support for me from the people of Seaford.”
Mr. Genshaw topped the council candidates with 443 votes. Ms. Peterson, who has served on council 18 years, landed 434 votes and Mr. Lambert received 211 votes.
The mayor and council winners will take the oath of office Tuesday, May 8. Council terms are three years; the mayor’s term is two years.
The last contest mayor’s race was in 1996 when Guy Longo edged out Dan Short, who two years later was unopposed in his second run for mayor. Mr. Butler moved from council to mayor in 2006, when Mr. Short waged what proved to be a successful run for the state House of Representatives’ 39th District.
As Seaford’s next mayor, Mr. Bennett pledges to support business.
“I am for small business, being a small businessman,” said Mr. Bennett, whose family operates a Harley-Davidson business. “I look forward to continuing economic development and trying to bring some small business into Seaford. I just hope I can live up to everybody’s expectations.”</