Seventeen days left to educate yourself on candidates

DOVER — Some notes and quotes between headlines and deadlines …

How many of you are weary of the national political news day in and day out?

You may already have heard the prank caller’s recent line:

“Is your refrigerator running?

… because I might vote for it.”

Just 17 days until the election.

***

Today’s edition kicks off a series of candidate surveys for legislative races.

From the Editor logo copy copyThe deadline to return the surveys was Thursday. Each candidate was notified, by email using the address and/or by phone using the Department of Election information.

As of Friday evening, the following candidates who have opponents in state representative races have not responded: Monique Johns and Kevin Hensley, 9th district; Jeff Spiegelman and David Neilson, 11th district; James DeMartino, 14th district; Steve Smyk, 20th district; Jan Gallagher and Ruth Ann James, 29th district; Charles Groce, 30th district; Sean Lynn, 31st district; Andria Bennett, 32nd district; Charles Postles, 33rd district; Dan Short and James Brittingham, 39th district; and Brad Connor, 41st district.

Among statewide candidates, we have not received responses from gubernatorial candidates Colin Bonini, Republican, and Andrew Groff, Green Party; lieutenant governor candidate La Marr Gunn, Republican; and congressional candidates Hans Reigle, Republican, and Mark Perri, Green Party.

Candidate surveys will be posted in our Vote 2016 section.

***

The last presidential debate of the year was Wednesday night.

There is still another chance to ask statewide candidates questions. It will be 7-9 p.m. Wednesday night in the Bank of America Auditorium at Delaware State University,

The League of Women Voters of Delaware, along with the American Association of University Women and Delaware State University’s campus radio station, is sponsoring the Candidates Night debate. It will feature those running for United States representative, governor, lieutenant governor and insurance commissioner.

Ellen Wasfi of the Delaware League of Women Voters will be the moderator, asking questions collected from the audience.

“If you have questions about the way the state or country is being run, this is your time to ask candidates questions,” said Ms. Wasfi.

Ms. Wasfi has been moderating league candidates debates since the 1980s.

“Anything that expands participation in the political process and expands the knowledge people have when they go into the voting booth, that’s the important thing,” said Ms. Wasfi. “So we encourage people to get involved and get educated on the issues so that when they vote, it’s an educated vote.”

Last Wednesday, she moderated a Kent County League of Women Voters debate at the Modern Maturity Center.

There were 28 candidates invited. Only three races, six candidates, were represented in the debate because the league adheres to Federal Elections Commission, Federal Communications Commission and the Internal Revenue Service related to its non-partisan status.

Candidates are recognized but not allowed to speak if an opponent is not present. “It’s their interpretation that if you only have one person per office up there that you’re literally supporting their campaign because there isn’t any opposing voice,” she said. “They want to ensure non-partisanship.”

It is not a Democrat-Republican requirement. It can be a third-party candidate.

Ms. Wasfi said two Libertarian Party candidates — Scott Gesty, a candidate for Congress, and Sean Goward, a candidate for governor — have agreed to participate on Wednesday..

***

The program for the debates includes notations of which candidates declined to appear.

On Wednesday, Charlotte Middleton, a Republican candidate for Levy Court, had initially declined but showed up and was announced to the audience.

Brooks Banta, initially hearing she would not be there, said he was under the impression she would not be there and instead attended fire department presentations that night.

Reach editor Andrew West at awest@newszap.com

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.