On Monday, March 11th, the Sussex Republican Committee will hold elections for their county-wide officers.
The late Chairman, Jerry Wood, died unexpectedly on December 28th; Vice-Chairman John Rieley has been serving as Acting Chairman since then. He has filed to run for Chairman.
Fred Silva, Chair of the 39th Representative District Committee, has filed for Vice-Chairman.
Linda Creasy, 1st Election District Committeeperson in the 14th Representative District, has filed for Secretary, and sitting Treasurer Sylvia Neiser has filed for re-election as Treasurer.
Tony Matero, president of the Eastern Sussex Republican Club, filed to run for 14th Representative District Chairman against incumbent Harold Conklin.
Incumbent Secretary Carol Bodine was at Committee Headquarters in Georgetown Thursday to accept last-minute candidates; the filing deadline was at noon. Some candidates filed electronically, some, mostly incumbents, filed at the Executive Committee meeting on February 11th, some filed by mail or in person.
In the Committee, there are 146 Election District Committeepersons, 9 Representative District Chairs and 4 Executive positions; all are subject to election by the registered Republicans in Sussex County. 3 of the Representative District Chairs, including the 14th, are contested this year; Ken Towers filed against incumbent Ken Currie in the 41st RepDist, Matero challenging Conklin in the 14th and Jason Dean challenging incumbent Matt Opaliski in the 35th RepDist. Dean is also running for 3rd ElectionDist Committeman against Allison Tatman.
There was speculation that the moderate wing of the Committee would try to offer a slate of candidates representing their views; conservatives, however, continue to influence the committee as they have since Wood’s ascendancy in 2012.
In last November’s election, a newly-redistricted Senate district and House district were up for their first-ever elections; the Republican candidates, Ernie Lopez (6th Sen) and Steve Smyk (20th Rep) both won. Sussex is the only county in the First State to send an almost all-GOP contingent to Dover, despite the virtually even registration of Republican and Democrat voters in the county.
The writer is the spokesman for the Sussex County Republican Committee