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Mayor of Dewey Beach one of incumbents running for 3 open seats

Town of Dewey Beach

Dewey Beach Mayor T.J. Redefer has his sights set on another term as mayor, but first he has to be re-elected as a commissioner.

Redefer was first elected to Dewey Beach town council in 2017 and was voted as mayor by his fellow commissioners that same year.

He says it was an easy decision to run then because he wanted to “clean up the mess,” “There was a culture in our Town that was not acceptable in today’s day-and-age. And we needed to do everything we could to find new management and build a better team from top to bottom. And when I say top to bottom - the town manager is brand new.”

Mayor Redefer says he feels he’s accomplished a lot in the past two years but says there’s still work that needs to be done - including protecting the beach and bay, “We have partnered with the Center for Inland Bays over many years and there are several projects that we have in the works. But our bays and our beaches are the most valuable asset here in Dewey Beach.”


He says the resort runs on a $3.3 million budget, and he calls the Town “blessed,” "Dewey Beach relies on our guests for the most part to pay for most of the things we need and want. But we don’t have a consistent revenue stream. We don’t have taxes in Dewey Beach. So we rely on accommodations tax, (realty) transfer tax, parking permits, parking tickets and other things to make sure we have the money we need.”

Mayor Redefer says Dewey is “fiscally sound.” And he again points out public safety and the protection of beaches as successes during his time as mayor. 

However, if re-elected, he says he wants to work on finding consistent revenue streams to keep Dewey afloat.

Redefer joins two other incumbents - Paul Bauer and Dale Cooke in running for re-election. Newcomer Phil Rowe has also tossed his hat into the ring for one of three open seats.

The deadline for candidates to file and for voters to register is Thursday, August 22 at 5 p.m. The election is September 21, 2019.

Applications for absentee ballots will be available starting next Monday, July 29 at Town Hall.

Kelli Steele has over 30 years of experience covering news in Delaware, Baltimore, Winchester, Virginia, Phoenix, Arizona and San Diego, California.