Sen. Dave Lawson (R-Marydel) edged out his Democratic challenger Katie Cooke in Tuesday's election with 50.6 percent of the vote to win his second term as senator of District 15.
Lawson garnered 9,547 total votes while Cooke acquired 47.7 percent of the vote with 9,004 votes. Independent candidate Catherine R. Samardza ended the night with 324 votes.
Lawson attributed his victory to hard work, not taking any opponents lightly and running a clean, honest campaign.
"We are coming back to a balance in government so that people are not neglected like they currently are," he said at Delaware Republican headquarters at Dover Downs Tuesday night. "With one party rule, people aren't on the agenda. They're not even on the radar."
"When the disparity is so big, it's one way or the highway," Lawson said, referring to Democratic control of the Senate and House. "That's not a people's agenda. Balanced government represents the people."
Even though Cooke lost, she said she feels great about the campaign: "It was an amazing opportunity and we had such a phenomenal group of volunteers who were so inspiring, dedicated and motivated."
In terms of running again, Cooke said in an election this close it's hard not to want to run again but she hasn't made any commitments. She did learn some lessons in her first go at it including starting earlier; her campaign was essentially only seven weeks. Cooke's favorite part was representing the Smyrna/Clayton areas in the campaign, which is where she lives and works.
"The entire community did come together and said 'We would like this change, we believe in you' and it was true in the results that was awesome," Cooke said. "It would really have been an honor to represent them."
Samardza said she learned a lot from the campaign and it was possible she'd run again in the future.
"The fact is, it was a three-way race and we all did our best. The senator managed to maintain his lead," Samardza said.
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