DOVER — Dover businessman and social activist La Mar Gunn has a vision of making Delaware first again.
That’s the theme of his campaign as he seeks the Republican nomination for the office of lieutenant governor.
“I want us to be the first state at showing that people of different races can work together to advance and better our communities,” Mr. Gunn said.
He made the announcement early Thursday afternoon in a news release.
Mr. Gunn, a financial adviser who recently moved his Gunn Wealth Management office to State Street, is the only Republican who has announced interest in the office.
A relative newcomer to Delaware’s political scene, Mr. Gunn ran for Kent County Recorder of Deeds in 2014 against incumbent Democrat Betty Lou McKenna.
Mr. Gunn went from being declared the winner by two votes on election night to losing the office on a recount.
On Nov. 4, 2014, the Department of Elections declared Mr. Gunn a winner over Ms. McKenna by a 19,247 to 19,245 margin. The closeness of the votes triggered an automatic recount by the Board of Canvass, and after a series of recounts, ended in a tie.
That paved the way for Democrat Gov. Jack Markell to appoint Ms. McKenna to the office.
That loss didn’t discourage Mr. Gunn, president of the Central Delaware branch of the NAACP.
He believes there is a disconnect between politicians and the communities they serve.
“That’s why I decided to run,” Mr. Gunn said. “There has to be someone in local politics that can not only connect to the youth, but to different communities of all races.”
“The minorities sometimes can’t relate and you need that person who can inspire and who they can connect to,” he added.
While his name is not yet listed on the Delaware Department of Elections website, candidates have until July 12 to file for the Sept. 13 primary. The fee to run for lieutenant governor is $3,162.12.
Six Democrats are competing for their party’s nomination. They are Rehoboth Beach Commissioner Kathy McGuiness, New Castle Register of Wills Ciro Poppiti of Wilmington, Middletown state Sen. Bethany Hall-Long, former Sussex Register of Wills Greg Fuller of Lincoln, Kent County Levy Court Commissioner Brad Eaby of Dover and Wilmington Councilwoman Sherry Dorsey Walker.
While the presidential primary is Tuesday, the primary for other offices in Delaware is Sept. 13. Only registered voters from participating parties may vote.
Mr. Gunn said the state is facing very serious economic times, but hopes to change that moving forward.
“A lot of people in the community want more jobs,” Mr. Gunn said. “I want to focus on that aspect and create as many opportunities as possible.
“My job creation strategy is simple and does not put tax dollars at risk. As lieutenant governor I will work diligently as Delaware’s first ever jobs ambassador.”
“We must develop innovative strategies for improving the education of our youth without increased spending,” he added.
Mr. Gunn said he plans to focus on programs that support small businesses and local job creation.
“It is time we focus on job training and community development,” Mr. Gunn said.
“My proven approach towards community service has been centered on unity and respect. I can and will continue to bring people together.”
He said it’s time for less talk and more action from politicians.
“I want to be that voice,” Mr. Gunn said. “We must look past party lines and focus on what’s best for our communities.
“I’m if given the opportunity to serve, I will pledge my heart and soul to the task of making Delaware first again.”
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