Sussex Sheriff Gets Ready as Write-in Candidate - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Sussex Sheriff Gets Ready as Write-in Candidate

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GEORGETOWN, Del. - The race for Sussex County Sheriff will be interesting to watch, because incumbent Sheriff Jeff Christopher is running as a write-in candidate.    

The last write-in candidate to get a lot of votes in Sussex County was Christine O'Donnell in 2008. Only one person in the history of Sussex County has ever won as a write-in, and now Christopher is looking to be the second.

The sheriff is running after losing the primary election to Republican Robert T. Lee by a narrow 21 votes, resulting in a recount. Now he will also be fighting against Democrat Ronald "Beau" Gooch.

"Just because a party picks an individual doesn't mean he's the right individual for the job," Christopher said.

The last and only person to win as a write-in was John Adams, former Mayor of Lewes, in 1992. He was supported by the 12-year incumbent, Al Stango.

According to Kenneth McDowell, the director of the Sussex County Department of Elections, several people have come in expressing interest on how to vote for Sheriff Christopher as a write-in. However, with that support, he would still need over 20,000 votes to win, which could prove to be difficult.

"I think it'll cross party lines anyhow and from what I hear on radio talk shows and things like that," McDowell explained. "It doesn't seem to have a party line."

Early voters, like Matthew Opiliski of Greenwood, have already formed their opinions.

"I think it's an uphill battle again, he's gonna need several thousand people to do that and even though it might be very slim there's still a chance," he said. "So i'm going to vote my conscious."

"Write-in candidates generally have a difficult time and I'm sure there are many many people who will come out and support him as a write-in candidate," Jane Hovington of Georgetown said. "But I'm voting for Beau Gooch."

No matter what though, Christopher is fighting.

"Many of my detractors say why don't you just learn how to receive the no answer," he said. "Well listen, they complain about representatives everyday say yes and compromise i am one that will not compromise..."

The other candidates have expressed their opinion on the situation.

"I don't think it changes anything," Gooch said. "I mean if it was ten people running for sheriff, the people got to make the choice, and if he believes what he does than that's fine with me you know I'm just glad that I'm in it and I'm in it to win it."

"I think he has a group of strong supporters that can affect," Lee said. "But i hope that the republican party will see that we need to stay together."  

Absentee ballots are already being counted. Due to the nature of this election and the number of write-ins that will need to be counted, there may not be results until Wednesday officials said.

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