Pols and pals gather for Return Day

The winning and losing candidates in Tuesday’s election met once again Thursday – this time, to take part in Delaware’s traditional Return Day parade in Georgetown.


A soaking rain drenched the dedicated spectators as the winners and runners-up climbed aboard horse-drawn carriages to join the parade around the Georgetown circle.

“I wish we could have a Return Day for America,” said Senator Tom Carper, who will be joined in the Senate by New Castle County Executive Chris Coons.  Coons was accompanied along the parade route by Republican candidate Christine O’Donnell.  The Senator-elect is already working with Senator Ted Kaufman on the transition, as he prepares to be sworn in November 15th.  New Castle County Council President Paul Clark will take over as County Executive.

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“We’ve already started working hard, both on the County side and on the Senate side,” Coons said.

O’Donnell, meanwhile, says she is evaluating a “lot of offers and a lot of opportunities.”  She won the support of the tea party movement shortly before her surprising upset of Representative Michael Castle in the Republican Senate primary.

Representative-elect John Carney joined Republican candidate Glen Urquhart, who said he had been speaking with Carney about issues they could possibly work on.

The event pays tribute to past election procedures, where candidates and citizens would gather two days after the election to hear the returns read in the town center.  The date of the first Return Day is not certain, but it may have been as early as 1792.

Following the parade, a ceremonial hatchet was buried.

“The burial of the hatchet, that’s supposed to get rid of all of the bad things they said about each other,” said Sussex County Return Day President Rosalie Walls.

“Whether that really happens or not, I don’t know.  But we can only hope, right?”

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