Former City Chaplain Wallace R. Dixon took 78.7 percent of the vote to defeat Bernhard A. Greenfield in the special election held by the city of Dover Tuesday to fill the City Council Fourth District seat left vacant by the late Councilwoman Sophia Russell.
Dixon beat Greenfield 85 to 23 in a district with 4,028 voters, according to the Office of the City Clerk. The special election had to be held just three weeks after the Nov. 6 general election.
Dixon resigned his post as city chaplain in order to run for the Fourth District post after 10 years in that post. He had done the invocation before each council meeting with the exception of one month each year, when he deferred to Mayor Carleton E. Carey Sr.
Dixon attributed his win simply to the people of the Fourth District selecting the man it wanted for the job. He said he would continue Russell’s community-focused work.
“I want to try to continue working with senior citizens and the youth of the city,” he said.
Dixon, 72, retired as administrative assistant at Bible Way Temple Church of God in Christ, where he has served as an elder and as Delaware Jurisdiction Sunday School superintendent . He also served in the U.S. Air Force, which initially brought him to Dover in 1962, and attended Delaware State College for a few semesters.
Greenfield, 83, also a served in the U.S. Air Force and went on to work as a juvenile probation officer with Delaware Family Court after graduating from Delaware State College.
Greenfield criticized the city for not doing more to advertise this special election, although he acknowledged that the cold, rainy weather could have played a factor in the low turnout.
Greenfield said he would have been an independent, strong voice on council and would not have sought re-election once the remainder of Russell's term was complete in 2015.
Nonetheless, Greenfield said he would continue to monitor City Council and speak up if he thought it was doing a poor job. He was formerly in the Third District before reapportionment.
As for Dixon, he said he would bring a personal style to city council.
“I just want to be able to treat human beings right and get things done for the betterment of the whole city,” Dixon said. “I would like to thank all the members of the Fourth District for getting out to vote, my campaign manger and everyone that helped me get elected.”
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He will be sworn in at council’s next meeting, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Dec. 10.