Rieley takes the 5th in GOP county council primary

U.S. Senate candidate Rob Arlett and his wife Lorna chat with Vietnam Veteran Fred Smiga at the Fred Fifer Middle School in Camden on Primary Thursday. Mr. Arlett, a Sussex County councilman, was an overwhelming primary winner and will face Democratic incumbent Sen. Thomas Carper in November.  (Delaware State News/Marc Clery)

MILLSBORO – Republican voters spoke at the primary polls Thursday and John Rieley of Millsboro is bound for the Nov. 6 General Election ballot as a GOP candidate for Sussex County Council.

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

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

John Rieley

“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.”

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.”

Mr. Christophel congratulated Mr. Rieley on his victory.

Kevin Christophel

“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, topped 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 from House of Representatives to the senate in the 18th Senatorial 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.”

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at grolfe@newszap.com

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