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Purzycki wins second term as Wilmington Mayor, Congo upsets City Council President

Mike Purzycki has won a second term as Mayor of Wilmington.


He pulled in nearly 43 percent of the vote — more than a thousand votes ahead of current City Treasurer Velda Jones-Potter. Former City Councilman Justen Wright came in third.  


Purzycki’s win in Tuesday’s Primary means he will be Mayor of Wilmington for four more years, since no Republican is vying for the seat in November’s General Election. 


Purzycki was elected in 2016 in an eight-way primary, which he won by less than 200 votes.


“We started a lot of things,” Purzycki told Delaware Public Media last month. “But every time you find yourself making progress you realize that there’s so many more things that you can do to make things even better."

Purzycki said last month he hoped this fall’s elections would bring a “new Council” willing to pass his anti-blight legislation, which hit roadblocks during his first term. With it he aimed to change the housing code to expedite the process of taking delinquent vacant and rental properties to sheriff’s sale. 

But come January, one of Purzycki’s frequent critics will lead City Council. 


Trippi Congo unseated sitting Council President Hanifa Shabazz, an ally of the Purzycki administration, by several hundred votes. Congo had previously been elected three times as 2nd District Councilman. 


Every seat on Council was up for election Tuesday. The majority of incumbents won their races, with Shabazz as the one exception. 


Chris Johnson and Linda Gray, who were both appointed to fill vacancies, won their races. Gray came out on top of a four-way race by just twelve votes. 


Incumbents Rysheema Dixon and Loretta Walsh and former Councilwoman Maria Cabrera came out on top in the eight-way race for three of Council’s at-large seats (one of Council’s four at-large seats is reserved for a minority party). Current Democratic at-large Councilman Sam Guy, a vocal critic of Purzycki and Shabazz, came up short. 


There will also be at least three new faces on City Council next year. 


Shane Darby handily won the four-way race for the 2nd District seat previously held by Congo.


Nathan Field won the 8th District seat left open by Bud Freel’s retirement. 


Bregetta Fields narrowly won the 5th District primary for the seat left open by Vash Turner, who lost the race for City Treasurer to Dawayne Sims. Fields faces the Independent party of Delaware’s Alexander Hackett in the Nov. 3 General Election.


Sophia Schmidt is a Delaware native. She comes to Delaware Public Media from NPR’s Weekend Edition in Washington, DC, where she produced arts, politics, science and culture interviews. She previously wrote about education and environment for The Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, MA. She graduated from Williams College, where she studied environmental policy and biology, and covered environmental events and local renewable energy for the college paper.
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