An early look at who’s running for office in Delaware this year

VOTE 1 COLDOVER — It may only be the beginning of April, but political candidates have been filing for months.

Political newcomer Lacey Lafferty, a Republican, is the only gubernatorial candidate to file thus far, while six Democrats are competing for the lieutenant governor’s seat. They are Rehoboth Beach Commissioner Kathy McGuiness, New Castle Register of Wills Ciro Poppiti, Middletown Sen. Bethany Hall-Long, former Sussex Register of Wills Greg Fuller, Levy Court Commissioner Brad Eaby and Wilmington Councilwoman Sherry Dorsey Walker.
In Congress, five Democrats and one Republican have submitted the necessary paperwork at this venture. The Democrats are Newark Sen. Bryan Townsend, Arden Rep. Bryon Short, 2014 Treasurer nominee Sean Barney, former state Labor Secretary Lisa Blunt Rochester and former candidate Mike Miller, while former Wyoming Mayor Hans Reigle is the Republican.

Mr. Barney’s campaign announced last week he has been endorsed by Harvard professor and former presidential candidate Larry Lessig. Mr. Lessig has pushed for campaign finance reform and was in the presidential race as a Democrat for two months last year.

“More than anyone else just entering politics, Sean has worked hard to craft a platform of reform, grounded in changes to how we fund campaigns, as well as beyond that, reaching more fundamental problems with our democracy,” Mr. Lessig said in an email to followers that was shared by the Barney campaign. “I worked with him as he’s drafted his democracy reform agenda. He is serious and committed.”

Although she has not yet filed, Paulette Rappa announced her candidacy for the 37th District last week. She was joined by U.S. Rep. John Carney. (Submitted photo)

Although she has not yet filed, Paulette Rappa announced her candidacy for the 37th District last week. She was joined by U.S. Rep. John Carney. (Submitted photo)

Three Democrats have filed for insurance commissioner: incumbent Karen Weldin Stewart, New Castle County Sheriff Trinidad Navarro and 2012 candidate Paul Gallagher.

Former Sussex County Clerk of the Peace George Parish, a Republican, is also running for the office, promising to “highlight arbitration hearings, establish a Hall of Fame and a Hall of Shame, appropriately regulate insurance companies, question out-of-state multi-million dollar contracts and establish a Delaware Veterans Insurance Assistance Unit.”

State Sens. Nicole Poore, D-New Castle; David McBride, D-Wilmington Manor; Bruce Ennis, D-Smyrna; and Gerald Hocker, R-OCean View, have filed. They are joined by challengers James Spadola in the 1st District, Denise Bowers in District 5, Anthony Delcollo in the 7th District and Carl Pace in the 14th District.

Incumbents have been pouring in to run for re-election in the House. New Castle County Reps. Charles Potter, D-Wilmington; Stephanie Bolden, D-Wilmington; Gerald Brady, D-Wilmington; Melanie George Smith, D-Bear; Debra Heffernan, D-Bellefonte; Kevin Hensley, R-Odessa; Sean. Matthews, D-Talleyville; Deborah Hudson, R-Hockessin; and John “Larry” Mitchell, D-Elsmere are among those who have filed.

They are joined by Reps. Valerie Longhurst, D-Bear; James “J.J.” Johnson, D-New Castle; Michael Mulrooney, D-Wilmington Manor; David Bentz, D-Newark; Kimberly Williams, D-Newport; Joseph Miro, R-Pike Creek Valley; Paul Baumbach, D-Newark; Ed Osienski, D-Newark; John Kowalko, D-Newark; John Viola, D-Newark; and Earl Jaques, D-Glasgow.

In Kent County, lawmakers seeking another term include Reps. Jeffrey Spiegelman, R-Clayton; William Carson, D-Smyrna; W. Charles “Trey” Paradee, D-Cheswold; Sean Lynn, D-Dover; and Lyndon Yearick, R-Camden.

Among Sussex Countians, Reps. Peter Schwartzkopf, D-Rehoboth Beach, and Harvey Kenton, R-Milford, are officially running.

Challengers include former Democratic Rep. Dennis E. Williams in the 10th District, Democrat Don Peterson in the 14th District, Republican James Startzman Jr. in District 19, Democrat David Henderson in the 34th District and Libertarian James Brittingham in District 39.

Democrats David Brady, Robert Cameron and Joseph Daigle are all running for the 7th District’s open seat, and Morgan Hudson, Charles Postles and Robert Scott are competing as Republicans for the open seat in the 33rd District.

“I’m running for public office on account of my passions, which include helping people and local businesses,” Ms. Hudson said in a statement. “I want to change policies that obstruct hard working people from achieving financial stability and policies that hinder local businesses from growing/starting up. I want to create career jobs, not just temporary jobs that throw our economy into a vicious loop of continuous unemployment.”

Although she has not yet filed, Paulette Rappa announced her candidacy for the 37th District last week. She was joined by U.S. Rep. John Carney.

“All we get here are emails, phone calls and letters supposedly made on our behalf that do not materialize in a real change in the district,” she said in a statement.

Levy Court Commissioners Brooks Banta, George “Jody” Sweeney and Allan Angel are running for re-election, with Mr. Angel being challenged in the primary by Keith Mumford. All four men are Democrats.

Farther south, Democrat Leslie Ledogar and Republicans Frank Shade, Kevin Burdette, Mark Schaeffer and I.G. Burton are all seeking to represent the Third District on Sussex County Council.

“Being a true native of Sussex County I know where we’ve been in the past, where we are today, and what the future can hold for our communities”, Mr. Burton said in a statement. “This is an exciting time for Sussex County, but it is also a time when we need to balance the rapid growth our neighborhoods are witnessing with the strong traditions that have made Sussex County an amazing place for our families and small businesses to thrive over the years.”

Reach staff writer Matt Bittle at mbittle@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.