Middletown voters will have their choice among four candidates who are vying to fill a vacant seat on town council in a May 15 special election.

Middletown voters will have their choice among four candidates who are vying to fill a vacant seat on town council in a May 15 special election.

Recent town council candidate Richard “Rick” Catterton Jr., local chiropractor Andrew Chas, banker Isaac Daniels and Middletown Area Chamber of Commerce board member David Rich each filed their candidacy papers before the April 16 deadline.

Chas, a 31-year-old Middletown native and chiropractor at Camp Chiropractic, was the first candidate to file for the seat.

“I think the current council members have done a fantastic job managing growth and development in Middletown,” the father of twin, 10-month-old girls said. “I’d like to help improve upon what they’ve already begun, while also offering some new ideas that will help bring more small businesses to town and providing additional events for our residents.”

Catterton, a 43-year-old parts and service director for Willis Ford in Smyrna, is making a second bid for a town council seat in three months. He was the lone challenger among the four candidates who ran in the March election, in which voters returned incumbents Robin Burgess, Robert McGhee and Jim Reynolds.

“I still feel the same way now that I did then,” said the single father who’s lived in Middletown for 15 years. “I want to bring some new ideas and fresh energy to council and see what I can do to help the town.”

David Rich, the 54-year-old retired Air Force colonel who currently works as state director of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Veterans Employment and Training Service, also previously ran for town council. He lost a four-way contest for a seat in 2002.

“I ran then because I felt the town was not recognizing the needs and issues of the community that had then been recently incorporated into the town,” said the father of three who’s lived in Middletown for 13 years. “Today, I feel the same way. The town is still run by folks who have been on council for years and don’t represent the concerns of the total community.”

Isaac Daniels, a 37-year-old bank officer for Citibank, was the last candidate to file for the open town council seat.

“I’ve been following the Middletown’s progress since I moved to here and I’ve really grown to love the town and what the mayor and council are doing,” said the father of two, who has lived in town for the past five years. “I’d like to add my gifts to council, as well as add to the mayor’s plan for the future of Middletown.”

A fifth candidate, Matthew Brown, had filed to run for the town council seat but withdrew his name after the filing deadline. A former candidate for the Appoquinimink School Board and the state House of Representatives, Brown said he is instead considering a potential rematch against state Rep. Quinn Johnson (D-Middletown) in November.

The winner of the May 15 special election in Middletown will fill the remaining 10 months left on the two-year term of former town councilman David Fisher, whose resignation was announced by Mayor Kenneth Branner immediately after the results of the town’s annual municipal election on March 24.

In a statement released by the town, Fisher cited “personal and private matters” for his decision to step down. His announcement came two months after the Middletown Transcript reported he had not been residing in town since October, although his legal address had not changed.

In making the announcement, Branner said he and town council had opted to hold a special election to fill the seat rather than appoint a replacement to avoid the appearance of cronyism.

“I don’t like the idea of an appointment where it looks like we’re putting somebody in that’s one of ours, or however people might see it,” he said. “It’s better that whoever wants to run, runs.”