Dover's new mayor-elect promises to work toward finding new sources of revenue for the city.
Mayor-elect Robin R. Christiansen said he plans to meet with citizen’s groups and others in an effort to jumpstart Dover’s economy just as soon as he is sworn in.
Christiansen, 63, won a five-way special election Tuesday, taking 39.21 percent of the votes cast. Dover City Councilman David L. Anderson came in second, with 31.82 percent.
There were 1,678 votes posted out of 22,779 eligible voters, said Dover City Clerk Traci McDowell; or approximately 7.3 percent of the electorate.
William Garfinkel, chairman of the city of Dover Election Board, read out the vote tallies approximately 20 minutes after the polls closed and after the candidates had a chance to observe the votes being counted.
Friends and family members crowded around Christiansen after Garfinkel finished; candidate James P. Webster, who at 6 feet 8 inches in height towered over Christiansen, slapped his former opponent on the shoulder and shook hands.
“Here’s one for the newspapers,” Webster said, smiling.
“I am just humbled by the honor the voters have given me,” Christiansen said as things quieted down. “I appreciate the other folks who ran against me for their interest in the wellbeing of the city.
“To the people who didn’t support me, I say it is time to move forward.”
In addition to Webster, who came in fourth with 188 votes, Christiansen faced R. Jefferson Reed, who tallied 197 votes, and Chevis R. Anderson, who came away with 101 votes.
David Anderson was reflective after the final votes were announced.
“I got one-third of the votes,” he said. “You’d think that would have been enough, but not quite today.
“I congratulate Mr. Christiansen and look forward to working with him.”
As the candidates milled outside the Elks Lodge polling place before the 8 p.m. closing time, they were joined by current City Council member Bill Hare, councilman and former mayor James Hutchison, former council members Tom Leary, Bill McGlumphy and Reuben Salters, and former mayor Steve Speed.
Speed noted the campaign went smoothly, despite barely six weeks having passed between the resignation of Mayor Carleton E. Carey Sr. and the June 17 election.
“It’s difficult to accomplish all the things you want to accomplish as a candidate,” Speed said of the truncated campaign. “Most people aren’t aware of the components of a successful campaign, so when you have only a limited time to accomplish all those goals, it’s really challenging.”
“I think it was a clean campaign,” Christiansen said afterward. “We had to talk about a lot of issues. Each of us has a vision for the future of Dover and that’s what’s important.”
In addition to meeting with citizen’s groups after he takes office, Christiansen will hold sessions with city employees and members of the Dover Police Department.
There’s a lot to do, particularly when it comes to solving Dover’s financial worries, he said.
“We’re going to have to look for ways to come up with some creative and innovative ways to supplement city’s revenues,” Christiansen said.
Christiansen, who previously had served 18 years on City Council, including 11 years as council president and vice mayor, will be sworn in during a special council meeting at 7:30 p.m. June 25.