Newcomer Curry wins mayor race
A relative newcomer to Middletown has become its next mayor.
Democrat James Curry, who moved to Middletown in 2010, handily defeated Republican Robert Givler, a former borough police officer, in the general election on Tuesday, Nov. 5.
Newcomer Curry wins mayor race
"I am thankful to the residents of Middletown for their vote of confidence,'' Curry told his supporters. "It has been an absolute pleasure getting to know them over the past six months and I look forward to Middletown's bright future.
"It's difficult to put my emotions into words,'' he said. "It's humbling to know I competed against a long-time resident and, in a very short time, gained the trust of a majority of Middletown's residents. For that, I am forever grateful."
Curry also thanked God, his family and his campaign workers, especially Dave Madsen.
Although Curry "was on the edge of his seat" throughout Election Day, he was confident when the polls closed. Based on conversations he held with voters during his 13 hours at the polls, he believed the result would be positive for his campaign.
“I felt my message had been heard,” he said.
In the end, Curry received 901 votes, while Givler received 618. Curry will replace longtime Mayor Robert Reid, who did not seek re-election.
Givler admitted defeat on election night.
“The public has spoken, so they wanted Curry in there, and that’s what they got,” Givler said. “I’m out of it – I accepted defeat, I got whooped, and I’m done.”
Curry, meanwhile, was happy not just with the result, but also with the way the campaign was conducted, he said.
“I’d like to thank Mr. Givler for being an excellent opponent,” Curry said. "From the beginning the two of us have always been cordial with one another and acted as gentlemen. Certainly, this is not the norm in today’s politics. I admire Mr. Givler's service to the community and his interest in its future."
Moving forward, Curry and four new councilors will have to complete a transition period as they become familiar with their new position, he noted. He said he is going to be “proactive” to be completely prepared for serving as mayor by the time he takes office in January.
“We have a lot of catching up to do in the next few months,” he said. “As mayor, I'll need to work with the new Borough Council members to ensure we are all brought up to speed."
In the upcoming months, Curry said, he plans to meet with Reid, Police Chief Steven Wheeler, the officers, and Givler as a proactive first step in determining how to supervise the force.
He also foresees another role he may have to play – the role of moderator between two political sides that fought a fierce campaign for control of council. Four new councilors were elected.
Still, Curry views the potential for disagreement among council members as a positive thing for Middletown.
"The composition of the council following Tuesday's election will force intelligent discussion and debate in hopes of reaching the best decision for the town," he said.
Daniel Walmer: 717-944-4628, or firstname.lastname@example.org.