Wilmington mayoral candidate opens up after primary win [video]

Democratic candidate for Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki talks with WHYY's Nichelle Polston in Wilmington.(Mark Eichmann/WHYY)

Democratic candidate for Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki talks with WHYY's Nichelle Polston in Wilmington.(Mark Eichmann/WHYY)

Democratic candidate for Wilmington mayor Mike Purzycki, who’s also the executive director of the Riverfront Development Corporation, says he’s still hitting the campaign trail.

Purzycki now faces Republican candidate Robert Martin and Independent Steve Washington after defeating seven Democrats including incumbent Mayor Dennis Williams. Purzycki won the primary by gaining nearly 3,000 votes from city residents.

“We’re still campaigning. We’re not taking anything for granted. I would just say it has a different feel. It doesn’t have the same kind of feel an eight-way primary did,” Purzycki said. He admitted it’s a tough job that’s he’s equipped for.

In the past, Mayor Dennis Williams said his biggest regret was underestimating the city’s crime. A problem he vowed to solve during his run for the job four years ago.

“I think events overtook the mayor. I think the mayor has actually done a much better job than the public understands,” Purzycki said. “He’s done some very good things that I don’t think were ever presented in a cohesive communication so the public could see all the good things.”

Last month, a column in the News Journal called Purzycki arrogant after a series of mayoral debates. It stated that arrogance could be a problem for the presumptive mayor.

“I didn’t get very upset about that. I was very happy to have won and I read that and it kind of surprised me, but I wasn’t as upset as perhaps some of my supporters were,” Purzycki said.

Meanwhile, Purzycki believes he can transfer some of the success seen on the Riverfront into some of the city’s neighborhoods.

“When I think about the urgency of what we have to do in the city, the first images that comes to my mind are dealing with poverty, the young kids affected by poverty, schools and crime in those neighborhoods,” Purzycki said.

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