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Sussex Countian
  • Deaver wins re-election over Republican challenger Ayotte

  • The first woman elected to Sussex County Council and its lone Democrat won re-election Tuesday in contest that appeared to come down to the wire as the votes were being tallied.
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  • The first woman elected to Sussex County Council and its lone Democrat won re-election Tuesday in contest that appeared to come down to the wire as the votes were being tallied.
    Incumbent Joan Deaver defeated Republican challenger Don Ayotte in the District 3 race by a vote of 11,400-9,182, or 55.4 percent to 44.6 percent. The district includes Slaughter Beach, Milton, Lewes and Rehoboth Beach, as well as parts of Milford and Ellendale.
    Although Deaver ended up with a 2,218-vote lead, she trailed Ayotte after the first three of the district’s polling station reported their results, and held only a slim margin until the final few votes were counted.
    “People said to me this race was going to be a landslide, but I felt it might happen the way that it did,” Deaver, a Rehoboth Beach resident, said afterward. “When you work so hard and the outcome is so close, it’s a hard fought and a hard won victory.”
    Deaver credited her win to the people who worked on her campaign.
    “I have a wonderful team of people who put this together and I couldn’t have done it without them,” she said. “I’m very happy, very gratified and very grateful.”
    Ayotte, a political newcomer from Georgetown who defeated Millsboro resident Brent Wangen in the September primary, said he feels he ran a good race, regardless of the outcome.
    “We won 45 percent of the vote, which is pretty good considering I never ran for office before,” he said after calling Deaver to concede. “I think there was a large group in town, from out of state, who support gay and lesbian rights and all campaigned for her. She also had the power of the incumbency.”
    Ayotte said he was uncertain whether he would continue to seek elected office in the future.
    “I won’t rule it out, but right now I’m not ready to make any decisions,” he said. “Politics Sussex County-style is a very mean and dirty business, and I don’t know if I want to do it down here. My race was clean, though, and I thank God for that.”
    Deaver, meanwhile, said she is looking forward to getting back to the business of helping to run county government.
    “I plan to work with our economic development office to see if there is any possibility a nonprofit out there would be willing to take on the task of extending fiber optic cable to bring high-speed internet to Sussex County, which is officially underserved,” she said. “That’s part of the infrastructure we need to have new business come to the area and that’s what I plan to work on.”
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