City council election filing deadline Monday
Markham only candidate who has filed
With the filing deadline quickly approaching, only one candidate has filed for the three seats up for grabs in the April 10 city council election.
Those interested in running have until 5 p.m. Monday to file.
Incumbent Stu Markham, seeking his seventh two-year term as the councilman from District 6, filed his nominating petition Monday night. A resident of the The Hunt at Louviers, Markham was first elected in 2006 and also serves as deputy mayor.
The other seats up for grabs this year are District 3, currently held by Jen Wallace, and District 5, currently held by Luke Chapman, who announced last month he will not seek re-election. Wallace has not said publicly if she plans to run again.
City Secretar y Renee Bensley said six people besides Markham have picked up nominating packets – the first step in filing to run – but as of Wednesday night, none have turned them in.
In order to be eligible to run, a potential candidate must be a registered voter, reside in the district he or she is seeking to represent, have lived in the city for at least one year, and submit a nominating petition signed by 10 qualified voters in the district.
Bensley said some candidates prefer to file early to give themselves more time to campaign, while others wait until the last minute. In recent years, she added, it seems most wait until the final days to create “an element of surprise.”
If no one files for a particular seat by the deadline, the seat would be declared vacant in April, triggering a special election.
“I think it’s unlikely that will happen,” Bensley said.
Residents have until March 19 to register to vote.
Any individual who is at least 18 years old and is registered to vote with the state of Delaware at a residence within the corporate limits of the city of Newark is eligible to vote. If you are unsure if you are registered, call the city secretary’s office at 302-3667000, and a staff member can look up your registration. You may register to vote through the Delaware Department of Elections.