Simpson, Wilson Win Local Primary Races


On Tuesday, September 11, Delaware voter went to the polls for the 2012 Democratic and Republican Primary Elections. Residents of Milford had two key races on the ballet as they voted for the Republican candidates for State Senate District 18 and Sussex County Council Seat #2. At the end of the day both incumbents in the two races, Senator F. Gary Simpson and Councilman Sam R. Wilson Jr. were reelected to their respective offices.

The 18th Senatorial District race saw incumbent F. Gary Simpson and challenger Matthew Opaliski face off as Simpson defeated challenger Opaliski, 1515 votes (68%) to 712 (32%) votes.

“It is certainly a relief for the primary to be over with,” commented Senator Simpson. “It was a clean campaign from both sides and I believe we came out of it united as a Republican Party, that’s always a good sign.”

Simpson has been a Republican member of the Delaware State Senate for 14 years, since 1998, when Senator Bob Voshell retired from the post. Simpson is currently the Senate Minority Leader. According to the Sussex County Department of Elections, Gary Downes, who joined the race as the Democratic contender the weekend before the election, has left the race allowing Simpson to become Delaware’s next Senator from District 18 in November.

Until November, Gary plans to work on several other Republican races in the area including Ernie Lopez, who defeated Glen Urquhart in last Tuesday’s Republican primary, as he takes on Democratic opponent Andy Staton in the fight for the 6th District Senate Seat. That newly created district, which was created for the 2012 election cycle due to redistricting, currently holds part of Gary’s district until the 2013 legislative session.

In his next term, Simpson states that he will continue to focus on repealing the estate tax, an issue that Simpson cosponsored legislation to deal with last legislative session, and work on lowering the gross receipts tax in an effort to “encourage economic development”. Senator Simpson says that he will also work at bringing to light the high school drop out rates in Delaware schools which he states in one of the highest in the nation.

In the race for the Sussex Council District #2 seat incumbent Sam Wilson ran against challenger John Christensen as Wilson defeated Christensen, 1676 votes (74.2%) to 583 (25.8%) votes.

“I’m grateful to win and it is always an honor and privilege to serve my community,” commented Councilman Wilson.

As a lifelong resident of District #2 in Sussex County, this will be Wilson’s second term as a Sussex County Councilman if he defeats his Democratic challenger in November, Gary Wolfe. Wilson prides himself on “helping keep Sussex County taxes low through hard economic times” and wants to continue “creating an environment so that businesses can create more jobs.”

Democratic challenger, Gary Wolfe, former member of the Milford School Board of Education, is telling constituents that he will commit to creating more communication between County, State and City entities in Sussex County in order to improve job situations in the county. Wolfe also states that he will focus on making sure that Sussex County improves the need for infrastructure to meet future growth.

On Tuesday, November 6 when the polls for the General Election open, voters will decide which man, Wilson or Wolfe, will serve as their next Sussex County Councilman in January 2013.

Looking forward to the General Election on Tuesday November 6, the last day for individuals to register to vote is Saturday, October 13. Friday, November 2 is the last day the Department of Elections is required to mail absentee ballots for the General Election. Individuals can register to vote by applying with the Department of Elections by mail, phone, in person or online. To be eligible to vote in the State of Delaware, an individual must be a United States citizen, resident of Delaware (proof required), 18 years of age and mentally competent. For more information visit the State of Delaware Department of Elections online at