Posted: Feb. 26, 2004

Vowing to ensure a fresh start for New Castle County government, New Castle City Council President Chris Castagno on Tuesday announced his candidacy for New Castle County Executive.

Castagno officially entered the race before an overflow crowd of family, friends, and supporters at the historic New Castle Courthouse.  He also announced that the honorary co-chairs of the campaign are Congressman Mike Castle, Speaker of the House Terry Spence, and former New Castle County Executive Mary Jornlin-Theisen.

Castagno, who was honored by Delaware Greenways as the 2003 Local Leader of the year, said, “I am a native New Castle Countian and I believe it is time that we make this County one of the most prosperous, healthiest and safest communities in the nation.  By listening to each other and working together, I am absolutely sure we can make New Castle County a better place to live, work, play and pray.”

As President of New Castle City Council since 2001, Castagno has worked to ensure a better quality of life for the people of New Castle.  Under Castagno’s leadership during challenging economic times, the city prospered.  Among the accomplishments for the city were:

• Local job creation, helping to increase city revenue by 25%
• No tax increases
• Development of a state-of-the-art police station

Castagno’s candidacy platform is a “Fresh Start for New Castle County." His four-part agenda includes:

• Improving the Environment - This will include the development of a Center for Environmental Quality that will identify root causes of pollution and develop programs that will solve problems.  The environmental plan will include the development of a bold countywide recycling program.  Castagno is also proposing to invest a portion of the county’s realty transfer tax to preserve more open space and create a Green Infrastructure of bike and walking trails connecting parks, schools and cities.

• Expanding Job Opportunities - Attracting good and higher paying jobs is not just the state’s responsibility.  Bringing new and higher paying jobs to the County, while ensuring a balanced growth plan, will be the focus.

• Enhancing Public Safety - No community can really function properly unless it is safe.  Castagno will support a new Police station for County Police and proper staffing and technology for County Emergency Medical Technicians, Paramedics and Code Enforcement Officers.  Building the Delaware Veteran’s Nursing Home in New Castle County is also a priority.

• Building Partnerships - County residents live and work in a region, not necessarily in a specific jurisdiction like the County or a particular city.  Castagno will work with mayors, civic groups, residents, businesses, and State and Federal agencies to create regional solutions and results for all New Castle County citizens.

Castagno, a former business leader with W.L. Gore & Associates, currently works with a business-consulting firm serving companies specializing in the international sports and consumer markets.  In 1995, Castagno was honored with the University of Delaware Presidential Citation for Outstanding Achievement.

Castagno grew up in Birchwood Park in Newark and graduated from Salesianum School in 1978 and from the University of Delaware with a Bachelor of Science Degree in 1983.  He and his wife, Karen, have twin daughters, Annie and Joanie, and live in the City of New Castle.