Wilmington councilwoman bids for the mayor’s seat [video]

(Charlie O'Neil/WHYY)

(Charlie O'Neil/WHYY)

One more person has put on their running shoes for the mayoral race in Wilmington.

Councilwoman Maria Cabrera has entered the crowded race where eight candidates, including current Mayor Dennis Williams, campaign to be the next mayor.

According to campaign leaders, today’s announcement marked a  23 year milestone for Cabrera who started as a city receptionist and later became a cultural affairs liaison under former Mayor Jim Sills. Cabrera currently holds the at-large council seat.

She’s the only woman in the race and, if elected, could make history by becoming the first female mayor of Wilmington.

“Wilmington has been electing mayors for almost 200 years, yet we’ve never had a female mayor. I think it’s time,” Cabrera said during her announcement speech on the 800 block of Windsor Street. An area of the city where she claims her hard work eliminated some neighborhood blight.

In the coming weeks, Cabrera plans to release more details about her strategic plan to revitalize communities and how she plans to achieve her goals. She also admitted some people have questioned her motives to run for mayor.

“I have to tell you I wasn’t jumping to enter the race. I watched the field develop closely. I love my city and I want to see it led by a dynamic mayor with great ideas, with a powerful vision for our city. As more candidates enter the race I kept looking for that leader,” said Cabrera, a Trinity Vicinity resident who also vowed to dedicate herself to public safety issues.

So far, Democratic candidates in the race include: Council President Theo Gregory; former Council members Norman Griffiths and Kevin Kelley; Sen. Bob Marshall; Eugene Young and Executive Director of the Riverfront Development Corp. Mike Purzycki.

Steven Washington is the only candidate who will run as an Independent.

In September, voters will have their say in the Democratic primary and again in the November general election.

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