Sam Cooper out after nearly 3 decades as Rehoboth’s mayor

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Long-time Rehoboth Beach Mayor Sam Cooper lost a bid for re-election on Saturday.

Paul Kuhns won the mayoral race. Incumbent Kathy McGuiness and newcomer Lisa Schlosser were elected commissioners.

Cooper had served as mayor for three decades.

Five individuals ran for office. For the office of mayor, Kuhns gained 761 votes, and Sam Cooper collected 543 votes. For the two open commissioner’s seat, Kathy McGuiness tallied 903 votes, Lisa Schlosser collected 706 votes, and Susan Gay came up with 637 votes.

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Kuhns

Cooper’s final term was marked by controversy.

He tangled with Dogfish Head over a renovation of their brewpub, claiming the site was not grandfathered in under an ordinance that limits the number of seats in bars and restaurants.

Dogfish prevailed after an outcry from some residents and supporters of the brewery, which employs 200 in Sussex County.

Cooper also took heat over cost over-runs for the new city hall in the bustling beach town and a decision to use an outfall for the discharge of treated wastewater, rather than using a spray irrigation system.

The ocean discharge was fiercely opposed by the Surfrider Foundation and other environmental groups.

There are 1,706 registered voters, a release from the city reported. The city reported 879 walk-in voters and 436 absentee, a sizable turnout by Delaware municipal election standards.

While the population swells in the summer, the population is listed at fewer than 1,500 as of 2016.

The winners will be sworn into office on Friday, September 15 , at the regular commissioners meeting.

The city’s LGBT community was divided over which candidate was the best choice.

However, the influential Washington Blade newspaper, which covers LGBT issues in Rehoboth, endorsed Kuhns, a Rehoboth businessman.

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