Referendum on Office
If ever a campaign offered a referendum on a specific issue, this fall's race for Sussex County Sheriff would be it.
Marshall Craft Sr., the 59-year-old Bridgeville Democrat seeking to unseat Sheriff Robert Reed, says he believes the sheriff's department should not have police powers and should continue with serving court papers and executing sheriff's sales.
"That's the only thing on my agenda that's different" from Reed's, Craft said in an interview on Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2002.
Reed has pressed for his department to have more law enforcement powers. Matters came to a head in October 2000, when state public safety director Brian Bushweller ordered Reed to remove the light bars from sheriff department vehicles.
When Reed refused to do so, the state Department of Motor Vehicles suspended the registrations of sheriff's department vehicles. Reed then removed the light bars from two of the vehicles so his department could continue to serve court papers, but he did not give up his fight.
Reed filed a lawsuit in January 2002 against Attorney General M. Jane Brady and public safety director James Ford, who replaced Bushweller. The suit alleged that Brady and Ford were preventing Reed from exercising the police powers of his office as granted by the state constitution.
Reed has generated significant support for his proposal to expand the sheriff's department into a police force in a county where many residents don't believe the state police offer adequate protection.
Craft, however, said he wants to take the department "back to basics, serving court documents and executing sheriff's sales, exactly the way the county council wants it done," he said.
Craft said he worked for the Ocean Pines Special Police Department for about seven years in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and that he'd like to get back into law enforcement. "I guess it runs in the blood a little bit," he said, adding that he also has a son in law enforcement.
Since 1975, Craft and his wife have run a deli and an ice cream store in Bridgeville. "We've run it pretty successfully," Craft said of the family business. They sold the deli last month, and Craft said he'd like to use the extra time serving the community.
"I'd like to do it," he said.
His decision to run against Reed, he said, has nothing to do with any dislike for Reed, and that he hopes the two can run a gentlemanly campaign.
"I've got nothing against him personally," he said, adding that his run for sheriff is more a matter of timing. "I figure if I don't do it now, I never will," Craft said.
Students at several schools in the Cape Henlopen School District performed in the top of the state rankings in the spring 2002 Delaware Student Testing Program.
Top performers included: Milton Middle School 8th graders, who placed 10th out of 36 schools in Mathematics; Lewes Middle School 5th graders, who placed 8th out of 57 schools in Mathematics; and Shields Elementary 3rd graders, who placed 12th out of 87 schools in Mathematics.
Lewes Middle School 8th graders placed in the top 10 schools in all three subjects: 5th in Math, 4th in Reading and 9th in Writing out of 36 middle schools.
At Cape Henlopen High School, 10th graders placed 7th in Math, 6th in Reading and 12th in Writing out of 31 schools.
In general, Cape Henlopen students did well in all subjects. District-wide, third grade reading scores were the only ones in which less than half the students did not meet the state standards.
Here is a look at how the students did in each of the three subjects:
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