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Cabrera joins crowded field seeking Wilmington mayor's office

Megan Pauly/Delaware Public Media

Wilmington Councilwoman at-large Maria Cabrera officially launched her run for mayor Tuesday morning.


She joins an crowded race, with six other Democrats and an independent already campaigning to unseat incumbent Dennis Williams.

Cabrera is confident she can separate herself from the pack . She says she stands out not only as the only woman and only Hispanic running, but also as the only candidate living near to areas of high crime.

I think it’s evident that I’m already separated from the pack. Because other candidates decided to jump into the race early does not make me late. I’m actually right on time.  This is the perfect time, this is when campaigns begin," said Cabrera. "Do not doubt for one moment that I do not have community wide support.



Cabrera stressed public safety as she stood before community members and supporters with her youngest son, 12-year-old Vincent.

She shared  a personal story about Vincent having a rifle pointed to his head after witnessing a robbery two years ago. She says to this day Vincent is still afraid to walk the family dog for fear of retaliation.

I understand how a community has been frozen in fear. And we need to have that trust – we have to build that trust – and it starts by earning it – with our police department and our community members. We have to work together, there is no other way to get around this," said Cabrera. "But before we can truly tackle public safety we have to recognize that this is an economic development issue.

She adds retaining businesses and attracting smaller start-ups to Wilmington are critical to making progress economically.

Beyond that, Cabrera offered little detail about what plans or policies she'll run on, saying she’ll unveil where she stands on issues slowly as her campaign gets its feet on the ground.


Cabrera did confirm she was approached by Republican Party members suggesting she run under their banner, but ultimately she decided against it.


They came to me. People felt that instead of running against a large pack, people who are really my friends and colleagues, that I could just run on the Republican side. But this is where my heart is, this is where I am," said Cabrera.


At this juncture, no Republican has announced a run for mayor. 


On the Democratic side, Cabrera joins a field that also includes City Council President Theo Gregory, former City Council members Norman Griffiths and Kevin Kelley, State Senator Robert Marshall and Delaware Center for Justice advocacy director Eugene Young.


Independent Steven Washington has also announced he's running.


Current mayor Dennis Williams has said he's running, but has yet to formally file for re-election.



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