Delaware officially ended the 2014 election campaign season Thursday at the 101st Return Day in Georgetown.
Held every election cycle, Return Day, brings together election winners and their opponents to “bury the hatchet” of campaign season.
The candidates ride together in horse drawn carriages, during a parade through Georgetown, a tradition that’s been going strong for decades.
State Auditor Tom Wagner and his opponent, Democrat Brenda Mayrack showed off their 21st version of “no hard feelings”. The two were spotted taking “selfies” during their carriage ride.
“Return Day is Delaware’s greatest political tradition. It brings everybody back together after a tough and hard fought campaign and I think that’s why we’re able to govern our state in a constructive way,” Mayrack said. “We all come back at the end of the race and get along and work together to make our state a better place.”
Following the parade, the town crier reads the list of local election results and candidates gather on a stage in the middle of town to ceremoniously bury a hatchet in a box of sand.
“We’re a small state (and) we have to work together,” said newly elected treasurer Ken Simpler. “I think it sets a great tone for ending the campaign season and start the governing season.”
Simpler, a Republican, is among several new elected officials in the state. Gov. Jack Markell said he’s looking forward to hearing new ideas and working on ways to make Delaware even better.
“We may have disagreements from time to time on how to make that happen but that what’s the political process is about and that’s how we get better,” Markell said.
While the 2014 campaign season has ended, 2016 speculation is just getting started.
Beau Biden, who announced earlier this year that he’s running for governor in 2016, made an appearance with his son and the National Guard in the parade. Biden did not seek a third term as Delaware’s attorney general and will officially hand over to reins to Matt Denn in January.
Meanwhile, according to The News Journal, Sen. Colin Bonini, R-Dover South, announced that he also plans to run for the governor’s seat. He was not at the Georgetown event.