Posted: March 13, 2003
IT'S CO-CHAIRMEN FOR NEW CASTLE COUNTY
By Celia Cohen
Grapevine Political Writer
Instead of battling it out for the
chairmanship of the New Castle County Republicans, rival candidates
Jeffrey E. Cragg and Thomas S. Ross brokered a last-minute
compromise Thursday evening to share the leadership position as co-chairmen.
"Last-minute" is not a figure of speech. The
two literally stepped outside the meeting, held in the library at
St. Mark's High School in Wilmington, as the ballots were about to
be distributed to the 29-member county executive committee and made
It just goes to prove that nothing
concentrates the mind quite like the prospect of losing a vote.
"We decided it's going to be an awful close
vote. Why walk out of here a divided New Castle County Republican
Party, when we can walk out of here a united New Castle County
Republican Party and really take it to them?" Ross said.
"It's a big job. We need to raise a lot of
money and recruit a lot of candidates," Cragg said.
The two will share a two-year term as the head
of the county organization that serves as an umbrella for five New
Castle County regions -- Wilmington, Brandywine, Christiana-Mill
Creek, Newark and Colonial, which covers lower New Castle County.
Kent County and Sussex County also are regions, for a total of seven
in the state GOP.
Cragg, who lives in Brandywine Hundred, is a
businessman with insurance interests. Ross, who is from Wilmington,
is a mortgage company executive.
The co-chairmen are replacing David A. Jones, a teacher who
stepped aside after one term and a lackluster showing by county
Republicans at the polls.
Even as U.S. Attorney Colm F. Connolly was
launching an investigation into the Democratic administration of
County Executive Thomas P. Gordon, the county Republicans in 2002
failed to pick up any seats on the County Council and lost an open
race for recorder of deeds, a row office they had held.
The new power-sharing arrangement met with
approval. "This is the best solution," said John Matlusky, the
Republican state vice-chairman. "We're all Republicans. We're all on
the same team."
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