Hi, I’m speaking from the Carriage Museum in Georgetown. We have a great Delaware tradition after every major state election and it continued this week in Sussex County. Those of us running for office, winners and losers, came together to literally bury the hatchet, marking the official end of competitive campaigns and the start once again of beginning to work together in a new way as state and local leaders. Emotions can be strong and debates can be difficult during the months leading up to an election. So, this marks the moment we let bygones be bygones and share our common goals of strengthening our communities and our state.
The tradition of Return Day started in 1791, when election returns were unknown until two days after ballots were cast. Today, we still travel in horse-drawn carriages or antique vehicles and the winning and losing candidates who were just running against one another walk or sit side-by-side, moving around The Circle in Georgetown. It’s the only event of its kind in the nation and it helps define us as a state. We make clear Delawareans of all parties are committed beyond the campaign season to rising to the challenges of our times and making a difference together. Whether it be creating new jobs, improving our schools or finding ways for government to save money, we share common goals for the days ahead. Return Day is about yesteryear traditions but it’s also about today and tomorrow; it’s about what we do when we walk away from the Circle that counts – how we decide to come together collectively as neighbors, continually working together to keep Delawareans and our state moving forward.