Candidates File For Fenwick Election

FENWICK ISLAND – The Town of Fenwick Island will have an election this year after it was announced eight candidates have filed to run for four council seats.

Last Wednesday, the Fenwick Island Board of Elections voted to certify eight candidates for this year’s town council election.

“We have eight candidates this year for the election, and all are qualified,” Colleen Wilson, board member, announced.

In a special town council meeting following the vote, officials voted unanimously to accept the nominees – Janice Bortner, John Gary Burch, Kristina Clark, Natalie Magdeburger, Bernie Merritt, Jacque Napolitano, James Simpson and Kurt Zanelotti.

“There will be an election on August 5, 2023,” Magdeburger confirmed.

On Aug. 5, Fenwick Island will hold its annual election to fill four positions on the town council with terms expiring in 2023. All council members serve two-year terms and are tasked with adopting ordinances and resolutions and determining the general goals and policies of Fenwick Island.

The deadline for voter registration has also been set for July 6, while the absentee ballot request deadline has been set for Aug. 4.

Any Town of Fenwick Island eligible registered voter who needs to obtain an absentee ballot by mail should call the Town Hall at 302-539-3011, ext. 1, and a form will be mailed to you. The request form to receive the absentee ballot must be filed with the Town no later than 12:00 p.m. on August 4, 2023. Absentee ballots must be received prior to the close of the election, 5 p.m. on Aug. 5.

The election will be held on Aug. 5, from 1-5 p.m. in town hall.

This year, four council seats currently held by Borner, Magdeburger, Napolitano and Councilman Paul Breger will be up for grabs. Breger’s name was not among the eight candidates announced last week, and it appears he will not be running in this year’s election.

The four officials were first elected to the dais in 2021, in what can only be described as a divisive campaign season highlighted by misconduct allegations, resignations and record-breaking voter turnout.

The four newcomers ultimately unseated the four incumbent candidates on the town council. And during their swearing-in ceremony, the town manager, town solicitor and two of the three remaining council members – Gardner Bunting and Bernie Merritt – submitted their resignations.

Merritt will join Birch, Clark and Simpson as challengers in the 2023 election.

Residents are encouraged to visit the town’s website, for more information on election procedures.

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.