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Mike Purzycki narrowly elected Wilmington mayoral Democratic candidate

Megan Pauly
Delaware Public Media
Mike Purzycki speaks at a Chase Center reception Tuesday night upon becoming the Democratic mayoral candidate nominee.


The Democratic race for Wilmington mayor was a close one – with winner Mike Purzycki, Kevin Kelley, Eugene Young separated by less than 500 votes in the primary.

During his acceptance speech at a lavish reception at Wilmington’s Chase Center,  Purzycki compared the struggles the city of Wilmington faces to climbing Mount Everest, and said he’s only at base camp.

“We treat crime as a symptom of broken neighborhoods and failed public policy," he told Delaware Public Media afterwards. "We have to build neighborhoods and correct public policy and we’re going to see our crime numbers really drop. But it’s a long process.”

Current mayor Dennis Williams - who finished fourth in the race -  says the process is a lot longer than anyone might think, something he concedes he learned the hard way.  

“I made that one mistake saying I’m going to be able to clear up crime in six months," Williams said. "But if they come in thinking they’re going to come in with a broom and a dustpan and we’re going to get everybody off the corner, we’re going to lock everybody up – it would be the biggest mistake they made in their life.”

Williams plans to retire, but says he’s still willing to lend advice to others when asked.


He hopes the next mayor will keep things he feels are working - like the Real Time Crime Center and Operation Disrupt.

He also offered some advice.


“Everybody needs a place at the table," Williams said. "I would hope the new mayor realizes this and picks a very diverse staff and works very hard to look at the issues the city of Wilmington faces.”

Purzycki still faces a General Election challenge from Republican Robert Martin and Steven Washing of the Independent Party of Delaware.

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