MILLSBORO – The challenger’s platform on transparency and communication paid off for Kimberley Kaan Saturday as she defeated incumbent Tim Hodges to claim Millsboro’s District 1 council seat.
It was the one contested race in Millsboro’s 2022 municipal election.
In a voter turnout more than 10 times that of 2021 when Ms. Kaan lost in a District 1 race to incumbent Bradley Cordrey 23-16, Ms. Kaan outpolled Mr. Hodges 284 to 159 in the six-hour election. There was one ballot ruled unclear.
“I think what propelled the voter turnout was I made a lot of contact with people. I went door to door, and I had wonderful people that were also enthusiastic about me, and they went door to door as well on my behalf,” said Ms. Kaan. “So, together, we all did this together.”
Mr. Hodges, who has been serving as acting mayor following the departure of Mayor Michelle Truitt who stepped down from local government last November, has served continuously on council since his election in 2007.
“I congratulate Kimberley Kaan and wish her the best. I wish the town of Millsboro and the council all the success in the future,” said Mr. Hodges. “It’s been a great time being on council. I’ve learned a lot and done a lot for the town on my part, too.”
Ms. Kaan and incumbent District 2 councilman John Thoroughgood, who was unopposed this year, will be sworn in at council’s annual organizational meeting in early July, Town Manager Jamie Burk said.
Both council terms are three years.
Following last year’s loss and low voter turnout, Ms. Kaan pledged to make residents’ election awareness a top priority.
“This year I was determined, win or lose, that everybody was going to know about the election. The big thing when I was speaking to people was they were surprised that Millsboro held elections every single year for council, that there were seats that would come up,” said Ms. Kaan.
“I think that is what resonated. In an effort to make sure it was out there, I did social media, I did door to door, and I met with people in each neighborhood to let them know what was happening.
“The level of support I got was just unbelievable. Everyone I spoke with — transparency and communication was a big issue for them,” Ms. Kaan said.
Mr. Hodges says time will tell if he seeks to run again for council.
“We’ll just have to wait and see for anything else that comes down the road,” Mr. Hodges said.