Vote recount planned for Sussex County sheriff’s race

 Jeff Christoper (Jeff Christopher Facebook)

Jeff Christoper (Jeff Christopher Facebook)

Sussex County Sheriff Jeff Christopher said he wants a recount following Tuesday’s close primary race.

Christopher lost to Republican opponent Robert Lee by just 21 votes. Lee received 5,109 votes to Christopher’s 5,088. A total of 10,197 votes were cast in the race.

“It’s a close race, the numbers are very close and we’re probably going to ask for a recount just to be sure,” Christopher told WMGD on Tuesday night.

Christopher has been a controversial figure in Sussex County over the last few years, mainly due to his efforts to implement arrest powers within his office.

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That effort has been shot down by judges in Superior Court and in the Delaware Supreme Court. In 2012, Gov. Markell singed House Bill 325, to clarify that sheriffs and their deputies do not have arresting authority.

Lee ran on the stance that he does not wish to increase the responsibilities of the sheriff’s position.

“When we started this race, we felt that we wanted to give the Republican voters a choice and we wanted to go back to the traditional way of the sheriff that we’ve had in the last few years as a court officer and I believe we’ve accomplished that at this point,” he said.

A recount is scheduled for Thursday at 10 a.m. at the Sussex County Board of Elections office.

The winner of the recount will face Democrat Beau Gooch in November.

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