Posted: June 30, 2014

I read the column noted above with interest. Two things I thought I should address, the Trey Paradee/Pam Thornburg election and the Abby Betts-Roberts/Doris Young appointment.

The Paradee/Thornburg election had to be recounted by state law because it fell under the 2 percent rule for a recount. While it was reported on Election Night that Paradee had won, the recount is what proved Thornburg to be the winner. Both parties should have known the law and awaited the recount before celebrating.

The Betts-Roberts/Young appointment did not mention that Betts-Roberts was a registered voter in New Castle County, where she and her husband to this day reside. Shortly after Joyce Wright, the former director of the Department of Elections for Kent County, died July 4, 2013, Betts-Roberts then claimed residency in her old home in Felton and re-registered to vote in Kent County. Yeh right, to receive the appointment of the director's job. You have to live in Kent County to be the director.

Elaine Manlove, the commissioner of elections, sent out correspondence to the Kent County board members informing them what Title 15 said regarding their role in the appointment of Wright's replacement but also telling them that it was an unwritten rule that the nomination came from the county chair of the party that the director was a member of.

There were other candidates that sought the position, and all of them were interviewed by John Mancus, the Kent County Democratic chair, and none had an opportunity to submit anything to the Kent County board for consideration. The board by Title 15 had sole authority to appoint, but because of the correspondence the commissioner sent out and the Kent County Democratic Party, only Betts-Roberts and Young had their names placed before the board. All the candidates with the exception of Betts-Roberts lived in the county. She claimed she did.

Doris Young had the votes, no one else did, and that should have been the end of the story. No. The rest is as the column told it. The Democrats were not happy. The daughter of John Daniello, the Democratic state chair, made the suggestion to do away with the three boards, Rep. Earl Jaques and Sen. Margaret Rose Henry made motions, the House and Senate passed the legislation, and the governor signed it.

Gary Hilderbrand

Department of Elections for Kent County


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