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Middletown Transcript
  • Middletown, Odessa, Townsend and Appo school board to hold election in coming months

  • It’s only January, but the 2014 local election cycle has already begun in the Middletown-Odessa-Townsend area.
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  • It’s only January, but the 2014 local election cycle has already begun in the Middletown-Odessa-Townsend area.
    Between now and May, voters will cast their ballots for three seats on Middletown Town Council, two seats on Townsend Town Council, two seats on Odessa Town Council and a seat on the Appoqunimink school board.
    Candidate and voter registration rules vary among each of the contests, so here’s a handy guide of the relevant information for each race:
    Middletown Town Council
    Voters will cast their ballots to fill three of the six Middletown Town Council seats on March 3.
    Those seats are currently held by 12-term incumbent Jim Reynolds, 5-term incumbent Robert McGhee and two-term incumbent Robin Burgess, all of whom have filed to run for re-election since the candidate filing period opened Jan. 1.
    All three incumbents automatically won office in 2010 after no challengers filed to run.
    The filing deadline for candidates is 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 11.
    Any legal U.S. citizen 18 and older who has never been convicted of a felony and can demonstrate that they’ve lived in the town’s corporate limits for at least one year is eligible to run. Candidacy applications can be picked up at Middletown Town Hall on between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on weekdays or downloaded from the town website, middletownde.org.
    In Middletown, town council candidates run at-large with the top three vote-getters winning a two-year term.
    Voters in Middletown municipal elections are not required to register in advance, but must be able to show proof of residency before casting their ballot at Town Hall.
    Odessa Town Council
    Two of the five seats on Odessa Town Council will be up for election on April 1, including one currently held by John Freeman and another previously held by Betts Jackson, which has been vacant for more than a year.
    Any legal U.S. citizen 21 and older who can demonstrate that they have lived in the town’s corporate limits for at least one year prior to the election is eligible to run for a two-year term on town council.
    The candidacy filing period will begin next month and run until 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 28, according to town officials. Filing applications will be available at Town Hall during office hours from 9 a.m. to noon on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursday or by appointment.
    Odessa residents 18 and older can vote in town elections, but new voters must register in advance one month before the ballots are cast by providing proof of residency. Voter registration applications also will be available at Town Hall during office hours and by appointment.
    Page 2 of 2 - Townsend Town Council
    Two of the five seats on Townsend Town Council will be up for election on May 3, including those currently held by Jermaine Hatton and Joel Esler.
    Both incumbents were first elected to town council in 2012 after receiving more votes than then-Mayor Steve High.
    Townsend Town Council members serve two-year terms, but after each election the newly-reconstituted council choses one of its own to serve a year as mayor.
    Esler served a term as mayor, starting in 2012, while Hatton currently holds the position.
    Any legal U.S. citizen 18 and older who can demonstrate that they have resided, or owned property, in the town’s corporate limits for 90 consecutive days immediately prior to the election is eligible to run. However, candidates must file a petition with the signatures of 10 Townsend residents in order to be listed on the ballot.
    Candidate applications will be available at Townsend Town Hall starting on March 3. The filing deadline will be at 4 p.m. on April 3.
    Voters in Townsend municipal elections are required to register in advance if they have not cast a ballot in a town council race for the past three years.
    The voter registration deadline is April 18.
    Appoquinimink Board of Education
    One of the five seats on the Appoquinimink school board will be up for election on May 13.
    Incumbent Norm Abrams of Townsend, who was first elected in 2009 and is currently serving as the board president, has not announced whether he intends to seek a second, five-year term.
    No candidates have filed to date.
    Any legal U.S. citizen 18 and older who lives in the school district and has never been convicted of embezzlement is eligible to run, so long as are not paid employees of the school district.
    Application forms and filing information is available on the New Castle County Department of Elections website at electionsncc.delaware.gov or by calling (302) 577-3464.
    Forms must be notarized and returned to the elections department by 4:30 p.m. on March 7.
    Voters in school board elections must be able to show proof of their identity and residency within the school district before casting a ballot at any one of the eight schools selected to serve as polling places.
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