In a neck-and-neck race for insurance commissioner, incumbent Karen Weldin Stewart beat out her opponent party-endorsed Mitch Crane by a little more than 2 percent in Tuesday night's Democratic primary.
With 32.9 percent of the nearly 48,000 votes cast Tuesday, Stewart will go on to face Republican Benjamin Mobley and Libertarian David Eisenhour in the Nov. 6 general election.
"I feel good," Stewart said as the final votes were being tallied Tuesday night. I had expected it – I worked really hard for the people of Delaware. They know I worked hard for them, and they voted me back in."
In a hotly contested race for the Democratic nomination, Stewart said she is happy with her showing in the polls, having faced three challengers, and is already gearing up for Nov. 6. She said if re-elected, she will continue to advocate for consumers.
"The consumer always comes first," she said. "Everything we look at revolves around the consumer in Delaware, whether it's a small business, large business or an individual. We're going to keep that our focus."
Crane, a former Pennsylvania judge who received the endorsement from the Delaware Democratic Party, came in just behind Stewart with 30.3 percent of the vote.
Crane said he was very happy with the support he received in Kent and Sussex counties, but wished he would have had the support of New Castle County voters.
"I believe I raised the issues that needed to be raised," Crane said. "I believe there needs to be a consumer advocate in that seat, as Matt Denn was, and I didn't think it was currently being run that way. Voters had the right to make decision elsewhere and that's what they've done … I knew getting in this race that I may not win. I set out to win and I came close."
Also on the ballot Tuesday were independent insurance agent Paul Gallagher, who brought in almost 20 percent of the votes, and Dennis Spivack, a deputy attorney general, who had 17 percent of the votes.
Gallaher said he was not surprised by the results, and said he was very thankful and proud of his campaign."
"I'm very happy with where I ended up," Gallagher said. "I'm exactly where thought I would be, and I'll be back."
Spivack said he was disappointed by his showing in the polls, but said he would not change anything about his campaign.
"All I could do is make the best effort that I could," he said. "We did everything that had to be done. I had great volunteers, great consultants, we just came up short."