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Politics & Government

Candidates bury the hatchet on Return Day

First State political candidates came together to set aside the campaign hostility and literally bury the hatchet Thursday.

Midterm election candidates came together on a brilliant sunny day in Georgetown to reconcile any hard feelings. One symbol of that Return Day reconciliation is winners and losers riding together in the parade. That's followed by the reading election results and then the traditional burying of a ceremonial hatchet in sand.

But Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester’s challenger Scott Walker was notably absent from the parade.

Blunt Rochester doesn’t know why he didn’t participate. But she says Return Day is a time for healing.

“It’s the opportunity for Delaware, people who had run to ready come together and say ‘Maybe we had differences on the campaign trail, but this is an opportunity to bury the hatchet and say we’re all one state.”'

Walker was seen in the area near the parade.

Competitors who seemed to bury the hatchet included Sen. Tom Carper and his GOP challenger former Sussex County Councilman Rob Arlett. Arlett and Carper took pictures together and were among those riding together during the 103rd Return Day parade.

Arlett, who lost his bid to unseat Carper, says he’s ready to come together, even if others aren’t.

“They’re here because it’s symbolic to bury that hatchet, but many of them will carry around that hatchet around after today in this very room. So, mark my word, I’m going to remind them that that’s not who we are as Delawareans.”

Carper said Return Day is a day of healing and reconciliation that moderates today’s political divisiveness by setting a more civil tone.

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