Delair Wins Special Election

WILMINGTON -- Pat Delair defeated J.C. Hearne and won a city council seat by a sizable margin in the special election Tuesday.

With the ballots tallied in all precincts, Delair obtained 5,439 votes, leading Hearne's 3,541 votes; however, the results are unofficial until the canvass next week.

Turnout was low in the special election with just one race.  Of about 67,000 eligible voters, the turnout was at 13%.

After Hearne conceded, Delair told WECT that election day proved to be an emotional one for her.

"I wasn't sure how it was going today," Delair said.  "This is much better than I imagined it was going to be."

Delair will hold the seat until the November 2007 election.  Hearne told WECT that he would not rule out running again at that time.

Delair, a local businesswoman, had previously run for a council seat and lost to Earl Sheridan by a slight margin. She had been critical of the city council, saying that its members operated in secrecy.

Hearne, a lawyer by profession, was appointed to the seat by other council members when Bill Saffo became mayor in July. He had also served in the council from 1997 to 2001.

Staff Report