Early Voting Underway for Special Election

arly voting is underway for the special election for an open seat on the Wilmington City Council.

Board of Election officials saw a good number of voters heading to the Marketplace Mall to cast their votes on Thursday, even though there are only two names on the ballot: J.C. Hearne and Pat Delair.

The two candidates agree on the major issues facing the city, such as the troubled sewer system and guiding growth. But their approaches and views of a city councilmember's role differ.

Hearne, a lawyer by profession, is currently serving on the council. He was appointed by the other council members to fill a vacancy left by Bill Saffo, who took over the job of mayor in July.

Hearne had also served on the council from 1997 to 2001.

Delair, a local businesswoman, had previously run for a seat on the council and lost to Earl Sheridan.

She threw her hat in the ring, hoping to fill Saffo's vacancy; but the council chose Hearne instead.

That is one difference not lost on the two candidates.

Hearne is regarded as a "good fit," who works well with the other council members.

"No matter how you feel or where you are on the issues," Hearne told WECT, "you gotta have three other people with you, or you aren't going to get anything done.

Delair believes another voice with a fresh viewpoint would be a plus.

"This 'getting along' thing isn't what we need to have on City Council," said Delair. "we can be respective in our debates."

The early voting for the seat continues through October 7 at the Marketplace Mall. It is open on weekdays from 8 a.m. To 5 p.m., with a special Saturday session on October 7 from 9 a.m. To 1 p.m.

All the polling stations will be open for the special election on October 10.

Reported by Sarah Warlick