Dennis Williams scored one of election night’s biggest upsets, defeating five-term Rep. Robert Valihura by 192 votes of the nearly 10,000 that were cast.


Dennis Williams scored one of election night’s biggest upsets, defeating five-term Rep. Robert Valihura by 192 votes of the nearly 10,000 that were cast.

Williams, who appeared on the ballot as the nominee of both the Democratic and Working Families Party, pulled in 51 percent of the vote to Valihura’s 49 percent.

The win makes the 10th District the second Brandywine Hundred district to move from Republican to Democratic control in as many years, and a look at the registration totals clearly explain why.

This year, there were 1,000 more registered Democrats in the district than Republicans. In 2006, the gap was only 354.

He admitted running on the same ticket as Barack Obama and Joe Biden was an asset for him as a Democrat, but said in the end, he believed most voters chose him on his merits.

“I think the message that I was delivering was one that the residents of the district connected with,” Williams said. “I’ve lived there my entire life, ran into many people I knew and knew me and they believed in me.”

Williams thanked his supporters and said organized labor was a big part of his success.

“I talked to hundreds and hundreds of people and I was there to hear what their concerns were and tell them how I could help them and represent them better," he said. "I’m just thrilled that they are putting their trust and confidence in me.”

THE VOTE:

10th Rep. District

Dennis Williams (D): 5090 (51 percent)

Robert Valihura (R): 4898 (49 percent)

Williams said he would make fiscal responsibility and economic development priorities during his first term, but most importantly, “I want to make sure that there’s communication and that I get all the messages out to them and give them the information that they need, and make sure I’m available to them to answer their questions and meet their needs.”

Valihura spoke briefly to supporters at the Christiana Hilton Tuesday, and admitted he was shocked to lose.

“Most of all, it was unexpected by my mother,” he quipped, drawing laughter on an otherwise bleak night.

“I’m not going to say I’m going to run next time. I won’t close that door, because the opportunity exists,” he said to more applause. “The numbers, the wave that overtook this state this year were too great for me to overcome. Next time, those numbers won’t be there.”