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Dover Alderwoman Sandra Milena Wittner. (Photo: Sandra Wittner).

Wittner drops bid for Dover mayor

Dover Forward slate cites judge’s ruling, messy ballot design

By David Wildstein, April 19 2023 11:33 pm

Alderwoman Sandra Wittner has dropped out of the race for mayor of Dover, leaving three candidates to compete in the June 6 Democratic primary: incumbent Carolyn Blackman, former Mayor James P. Dodd, and Democratic Municipal Chairman Edward Correa, a former alderman.

“We got into this race knowing the odds were long,” Wittner said in a joint statement with her three running mates, who also ended their campaigns for alderman.  “Even though we were denied party support, even after sharing all of the damning information everyone knew to be true, and reminding anyone who would listen that a certain former mayor could not be mayor again.”

Correa has the organization line after winning a mini-convention last month.  Wittner and her running mates – T.C. McCourt, Jennifer Podesta, and Isaiah Strickland – said they would not endorse anyone in the primary.

Wittner cited a bad ballot position and blamed the Republican county clerk, Ann Grossi, for putting all of the off-the-line candidates in column 2 instead of a separate column for each slate.  Grossi, who is up for re-election this year, recused herself from the ballot draw and instead had her deputy, Anna McMahon, conduct the draw.

“Last week, reality set in with the revelation the ballot in Dover would not look as it always has in a contested election,” Wittner’s Dover Forward ticket said.  “There comes a time when reality has to be acknowledged, even if you don’t like how it looks.”

The slate also blamed a decision today by Superior Court Judge Stuart Minkowitz to allow Dodd, the mayor for sixteen years before losing in 2019, to get on the ballot as one of their reasons to withdraw.

Minkowitz’s ruling “rendered our races impossible to win,” the candidates said.

Instead, the Dover Forward Team will focus on winning county committee seats.

“Nothing can be done without a seat at that table,” the Wittner team stated.

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