WILMINGTON — Pat Haley won the Republican primary for Mayor of Wilmington at Tuesday’s election, thwarting incumbent John Stanforth’s reelection bid.
With 10 out of 10 precincts reporting, Haley defeated Stanforth with 1,163 votes (67.93%). Stanforth received 549 votes (32.07%), according to unofficial results from the Clinton County Board of Elections.
Haley released a statement Wednesday morning in regards to his victory, and also had some kind words for Stanforth.
“I want to say a word about a good man. John Stanforth and I have been friends for many years, and I hope after the battle cools, we will remain friends,” said Stanforth. “John has served Wilmington for eight years, and we wish him all the best as he finishes his term in office. We both worked hard and gave it our all.”
In his statement, Haley referenced changing the status quo and said the voters have “decided they want to see the City move in a new direction” and promised to work hard for the community to “return safety, prosperity, employment opportunities and stability” to locals.
“I extend my sincere thanks to all those who supported me in this primary election with their votes, good counsel, putting up signs, going door-to-door, financial support and friendship,” said Haley.
He also thanked the “Friends of Pat Haley,” who he called an immense help, and his wife Brenda for her help as well as serving as campaign treasurer.
“We will do our best to ensure the people’s faith in us is well-placed,” he said.
Stanforth told the News Journal he was disappointed to lose but has considered it a “high honor” to be the Mayor of Wilmington. He added that he will depart the office with “very few regrets.”
He congratulated Haley and his wife, and said he looks forward to cooperating with him during the transition.
Stanforth was first elected mayor in 2015 and won reelection in 2019. Haley previously served as Clinton County Sheriff and Clinton County Commissioner.
Haley is set to face independent candidate Jason Stoops at the November general election.
Stoops told the News Journal he wanted to remind locals that he was running as an independent.
“Today, we have people saying the Mayor-elect has been determined,” Stoops said in a statement. “Yesterday was the Republican primaries only … we have a long summer ahead of us.”
He advised he has been working on items he hopes to implement if elected in November.
“Please do your research, a lot of false information has been released and I just imagine that’s just the tip of the iceberg,” he said. “Feel free to reach out to me with your questions or concerns and I hope to have your support when the big show rolls into town this November. Let’s turn the page and make Wilmington great again.”
Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574