County council candidate Christophel aims to foster change for the better

LAUREL – Sussex County Council District 5 candidate Kevin Christophel says the county is in need of change.

The 30-year-old Republican from Laurel believes he can foster change – for the better.

“One of the main reasons I actually filed is that I really believe that the county council needs a set of fresh eyes,” he said. “I really do think that they need someone with a new, fresh perspective to come in and promote change.”

Mr. Christophel, employed as branch manager and loan officer at the

Kevin Christophel

Laurel Bank of Delmarva, is one of three candidates for the District 5 presently held by Republican Rob Arlett, who is seeking the U.S. Senate seat.

Mr. Christophel will face John Rieley of Millsboro in the Republican primary Sept. 6. Ellen Magee of Williamsville is a Democratic Party candidate in District 5.

Topping Mr. Christophel’s priority: Jobs.

“I know how trviial it sounds because probably everyone is using the same platform, but jobs are my No. 1,” said Mr. Christophel. “The thing that is missing in Sussex County is decent middle-class jobs and affordable housing. We need affordable housing, nice decent homes, and we need good paying jobs. I know anyone can find a job here in Sussex County, either in agriculture, in tourism, healthcare, or whatever it may be. But there is only a limited amount of those jobs. We need new industries here.

“I was born and raised here in Sussex County and grew up in a family business. I understand the hard work that families and entrepreneurs put into their day to day lives. Growing up with Johnny Janosik as your grandfather you learn many things others are not exposed to. Riding around with him every Saturday being taught valuable lessons when making tough decisions and why those decisions made sense.” Mr. Christophel said. “I know good jobs when they come. I ran for office because I want to see Sussex County have the same level of growth as the national economy and that includes a fair level of geographical diversity.”

Mr. Christophel believes the western side of the county hasn’t received a fair shake.

“Some of the issues at hand are the west side of the county has been ignored for a number of years. I see the development at the beach and I personally believe the west side deserves the same level of attention. My family and I like to drive on Fenwick island every Sunday and surf fish. I’ve seen the growth there, but I haven’t seen it on the west side, “its night and day said Mr. Christophel. “The beach is a desirable place to live and I expect them to develop there. But you can’t forget about native Sussex Countians that live here.”

A competitive job market he says would entice folks raised in Sussex County to stay and not leave.

“Another concern of mine is that I graduated from the University of Delaware with a degree in economics. “All of my friends that were born and raised here had to leave to find decent paying jobs. If the native Delawareans aren’t staying around, I don’t know if we can maintain our roots as a county without those individuals.”

Mr. Christophel currently serves as president Greater Laurel Chamber of Commerce. He is also on the board of the Laurel Community Foundation, which provides transitional housing for families in need, and is associated with the Good Ole Boy Foundation, a grass-roots non-profit that assists those in need.

Mr. Christophel and his wife Alison have three children, Kenley three, Colbie nine and Caleb 10.

“My main initiative is jobs. It really is,” he said. “I want to retain and maintain the farming community that we have. I have a lot of friends and a lot of customers that are farmers and I know what they go through on a day-to-day basis. I have seen the struggles of a lot of small business people. I know what they go through. I don’t think it’s equitable that either the local municipalities or the county or the state are trying to put them at a disadvantage. It doesn’t make sense to me. We need planned development and growth.”

“We can’t just do all of this building at one time. We have to maintain a decent balance of quality of life, infrastructure solutions while maintaining low taxes and keeping Sussex County fiscally responsible.,” Mr. Christophel said. “So, if we can do that, we can solve the problems. I think it is absolutely doable. But it shouldn’t take 10 years to come up with a solution. I’m hoping to be part of the solution.”

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

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