District 2 voters have chosen Lumbrook resident Corinth Ford as their new representative on Newark City Council.
Ford defeated University of Delaware student Brenden Moore, 165 to 20, in Tuesday’s special election to fill the vacancy created by the death of Councilwoman Sharon Hughes.
“It’s a bittersweet victory because, of course, Sharon was a good friend of mine,” Ford said Tuesday night. “But she wanted me to run if she was unable. So some place, I think, Sharon is smiling, hopefully, and happy about the results.”
With the campaign behind her, Ford said she’s excited to hit the ground running.
“Now, I need to roll up my sleeves,” she said. “I have a lot of homework to do, a lot of reading to do, a lot of studying to do, and a lot of learning and a lot of work to do for my constituents.”
She said her first priority will be helping with the city’s upcoming review of the zoning code for the downtown district.
During her campaign, she called for a moratorium on development until the zoning code review is complete and said she supports a height limit for new buildings – likely a maximum of five stories.
She added Tuesday that she wants to make sure the residential areas of the city stay residential.
“We have a good quality of life here in Newark,” she said. “Newark is a nice little town to live in, and we all want it to stay that way.”
Ford grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y., where she was involved in community organizing and local politics. Her job at Chase Bank brought her to Delaware in 1984, and she settled in Newark because she wanted to live somewhere that had stores, restaurants and a library within walking or bicycling distance. She now works for Intepros Consulting as a project manager supervising teams that build large computer systems.
Over the past few years, Ford has been a frequent presence at council meetings, speaking out against the Florida T traffic configuration and raising concerns about development projects. She served on the city’s reapportionment committee this fall, though she recused herself after announcing her candidacy.
Tuesday’s election saw a turnout of just 7.7 percent, likely due in part to the election being held two days before Thanksgiving. Of the votes cast, 53 percent came via absentee ballot.
Ford said the low turnout is disappointing but reinforces something she talked about during her campaign – her desire to encourage more people to get involved in city government.
“My message to residents is that you need to be involved. The essence of democracy is participation. There’s no democracy without your participation,” she said. “If you don’t like the government, the government is your government, so go look in the mirror because that’s the person you need to blame.”
Ford will be sworn in Dec. 6 and will serve out the remainder of Hughes’ term, which ends in April 2023.
District 2 encompasses the eastern part of the city, including Catalina Gardens, Yorkshire Woods, Cannons Gate, the Village of Fountainview, White Chapel, Lumbrook, Prestwick Farms, Stafford, Laura’s Glen, George Read Village, the Washington House, part of Main Street and surrounding areas.