Democrat Trinidad Navarro breezed by his two opponents in the race for New Castle County Sheriff.

Democrat Trinidad Navarro breezed by his two opponents in the race for New Castle County Sheriff.

Navarro received more than 68 percent of the 176,854 votes cast in the race, defeating Republican Bill Hart and Independent Joseph O'Leary.

"Our victory came through hard work," Navarro said. "We had a great team and tremendous support from the community."

"We told the truth, we didn't go negative, and our message really resonated with the community," he said.

Democrats came out to the polls in droves, likely driven by the major media attention given to the U.S. Senate and U.S. House races, Navarro said, and that gave his campaign a boost, as well.

Hart said it was difficult to reach voters this election year when so much focus was given to top-of-the-ticket races.

“I guess it’s more interesting to talk about whether somebody is a witch or somebody is someone else’s pet,” he said.

He said it was very difficult to differentiate himself from his opponents in debates and candidate forums where oftentimes sheriff candidates weren’t given more than a few minutes to appeal to the voters.

“There were some frustrating moments at the end because these forums weren’t a good opportunity to highlight our differences for the voters,” he said. “Other than [two] stories in the Community News, our race really didn’t generate any media coverage.”

Navarro said his first priority as sheriff will be to modernize the office and give the employees the equipment and respect that they deserve.

Independent candidate Joseph O'Leary, a first-time candidate who garnered nearly 5 percent of the votes, said he learned a lot from the race.

“It was my first time out of the gate and it’s just a matter of not being as politically proficient," he said. “I said that from the outset, that I wasn’t one of the political insiders and I didn’t know what strings to pull.”

Now that he understands how to run a campaign better, O'Leary said he intends to run for sheriff again in the future.