Delaware attorney general hopeful Jennings dominates in fundraising

 

DOVER — Attorney general candidate Kathy Jennings, who is competing in a primary with three other Democrats next month, has raised nearly $411,000 this year, more than three times greater than what her opponents combined have collected.

Financial disclosure reports for candidates competing in the Sept. 6 election were due to the Department of Elections this week, giving a glimpse at where some races stand as the primary draws near.

As of Tuesday, Ms. Jennings, who has worked as the Department of Justice’s chief deputy attorney general and as the state prosecutor, had just under $324,000 on hand, an indication she could be the favorite in the crowded primary. Among her donors are several current and former state officials, such as Charles Oberly, Delaware attorney general from 1983 to 1995 and a former boss of Ms. Jennings’, and House Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst.

In addition to the money collected from donors, Ms. Jennings loaned her campaign $27,000.

Second in fundraising among attorney general hopefuls is Chris Johnson, former deputy legal counsel for Gov. John Carney, who raised close to $78,100 and loaned himself about $5,700. He had slightly more than $12,000 available at the end of the marking period.

Ex-Chief Deputy Attorney General LaKresha Roberts collected about $33,100 in contributions, in addition to loaning herself $42,700, and had almost $30,000 unspent.

Former department chief of staff Tim Mullaney raised about $16,400 and loaned his campaign $5,000. He had approximately $4,800 on hand as of Tuesday.

In the Democratic primary for auditor, Rehoboth Beach Commissioner Kathy McGuiness led the way, raising about $135,000 in 2018. She loaned herself $5,000 and had about $74,000 left as of Tuesday.

Attorney General Matt Denn is not seeking reelection.

Kathleen Davies, who worked for outgoing Auditor Tom Wagner as chief administrative auditor before being terminated last year, pulled in about $12,800 and loaned her campaign $10,000. She reported having almost $23,500 on hand.

Dennis Williams, a former state representative, raised about $2,600 and loaned himself just over $43,300, with $37,500 unspent.

The winner of the primary for attorney general will face Republican Peggy Marshall Thomas in November, while the victor among the three seeking the Democratic nomination for auditor will take on Republican James Spadola.

In the 31st Representative District, the only downstate legislative office with primaries among both Republicans and Democrats, incumbent Rep. Sean Lynn raised about $9,200. Rep. Lynn, a Dover Democrat who has held the seat for the past four years, had about $6,900 available.

Democratic challenger Ralph Taylor pulled in close to $4,900 and had slightly more than $600 left.

On the Republican side, Jean Dowding raised about $1,900, loaned herself about $16,900 and had approximately $3,000 unspent. David Anderson’s financial report was not available.

Among the two Republicans seeking to succeed Rep. Dave Wilson, a Bridgeville Republican running for the state Senate, in the 35th Representative District, Jesse Vanderwende had the financial advantage.

Mr. Vanderwende pulled in about $23,500 in donations and loaned himself $5,000. He had approximately $13,000 left. Robert Mitchell reported collecting approximately $3,800 and loaning his campaign $900, with a little more than $1,700 available.

In the 17th Senatorial District, Republican Justin King raised about $12,600. He had about $35,000 on hand thanks to a loan of $50,000 he made to his campaign in December. Donyale Hall, his opponent in next month’s primary election, raised about $8,700 and loaned herself $50,000. She had a little more than $45,600 left.

Among political entities, the Kent County Republican Committee collected about $73,100 in donations this year, while the New Castle County Democratic Committee raised about $94,500.

Reach staff writer Matt Bittle at mbittle@newszap.com

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