Salisbury Mayor Jake Day cruises to re-election

Salisbury Mayor Jake Day thanks people in the crowd as he gives his victory speech at Brew River on Tuesday night. (Todd Dudek Photo.)

Salisbury Mayor Jake Day had an easy victory over challenger Wayne King, garnering 85 percent of the votes in Tuesday’s city election.

Day received 2,276 votes and King got 377.

An excited crowd of supporters during an election night victory party at Brew River sang the Mayor’s campaign jingle “It’s a New Day,” and shouted “Jake! Jake! Jake!” as Day walked into the restaurant.

In addition to re-electing Day, city voters also returned four incumbents to the City Council.

“I believe Salisbury needed something to believe in and we gave it to them,” Day told the cheering crowd.

A lot has been accomplished over the last four years, but Day said city leaders need to focus not only on the next four years, but on the next 40 years. “What will Salisbury look like in 2059?” he asked.

Day said he and the City Council have reversed the city’s reputation for having elected officials who “used to scream at each other.” Now they work together to get things done.

“Salisbury’s story is being written here tonight,” he said. “This is the time that matters.”

Diane White, who attended the victory party with her friend City Councilwoman April Jackson, said she voted for Day and supports what he stands for.

“He’s doing positive things for Salisbury,” she said. “There have been a lot of changes and I’d like to see more.”

Day was elected to the Salisbury City Council in 2013 and immediately became Council President. He was first elected Mayor in 2015.

During his first term, Day has carried out an ambitious agenda. He initiated a program to reduce homelessness in the city, started community centers on Truitt and Newton streets, added police officers, rebuilt the Riverwalk and added an amphitheater, began improvements to long-neglected Fitzwater Street and started the Main Street revitalization plan that was approved and financed under former Mayor Jim Ireton.

Jessica Gregory, Michele Gregory, Randy Day, Debbie Day and Liz Day clap to words from Salisbury Mayor Jake Day’s victory speech Tuesday night at Brew River. (Todd Dudek Photo.)

Day also was successful in attracting the National Folk Festival for a three-year run in Salisbury. This year’s event had a $45 million total economic impact on the area and drew 153,911 unique visitors to the event, according to a study by the Business, Economic and Community Outreach Network at Salisbury University.

A Salisbury native, Day has a master’s of science degree in Nature, Society & Environmental Policy from Oxford University, a master’s in Urban Design from Carnegie Mellon University and a bachelor’s in Architecture from the University of Maryland.

Before becoming Mayor, he worked for the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy where he served as the director of the Center for Towns.

Day amassed $52,375 in campaign contributions for his re-election bid, an amount that is more than double his $24,910 election war chest in 2015, according to a recent financial report.

By comparison, King reported he had raised $875 from seven donors.

King, who has lived in Salisbury for four years, identifies himself as a conservative Republican and has criticized Day for moving forward too fast and spending too much money, running up debt, especially on the Downtown Main Street project, and ignoring problems such as crime and homelessness.

The Priscilla Street resident, who could not be reached for comment late Tuesday, has said he sees crime as perhaps the most serious issue facing Salisbury. 

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