Election 2020: Lieutenant Governor

Name: Bethany A. Hall-Long

Sen. Bethany Hall-Long

Party: Democrat

Age: 56

Family: Husband, Dana; son, Brock

Residence: Middletown

Occupation: Joint Faculty of Nursing and Public Policy, University of Delaware; lieutenant governor

Name: Donyale Hall

Donyale Hall

Party: Republican

Age: 50

Family: Married with 10 children

Residence: Dover

Occupation: Business owner

Why are you running for this seat?

BL: I’m running for re-election to continue to build a stronger, healthier Delaware. A stronger healthier Delaware does not just mean our physical health, but also our economic, mental and emotional health. Over the past four years, I have worked with Delawareans across the state on the issues that matter most to them. It has been an honor to work side by side with leaders and communities to help those individuals and families battling addiction, to expand access to mental health treatment, to combat health inequities and to create economic and educational opportunity for all. Fundamentally, no one’s health or opportunity should be tied to their gender, race, ethnicity, age or zip code. Everyone deserves equal access to quality, affordable health care and economic and educational opportunities. A stronger, healthier Delaware also means a healthy economy, one that addresses systemic discrimination and racism, advances workplace equality and fosters and supports innovation.

DH: As a businesswoman, wife, mother, United States Air Force veteran and community advocate, it has been painful to watch the steady decline in our state. Private citizens here have been diligently seeking means to address the distress of our impoverished communities, disengaged youth and complete lack of legitimate paths to viable economic opportunity and sustainability. These efforts have been of little or no avail. The prevailing consensus is that the state of Delaware needs representation by someone who will no longer perpetuate failed or broken policy and will be a real champion of change by tackling the socio-economic inequalities plaguing our state. I have humbly accepted this challenge.

What do you see as the major issues in this election?

BL: Ensuring the health, safety and economic prosperity of Delawareans is essential. I have been out in all of our communities across the State, we need to provide an adequate and equitable COVID-19 response to ensure families stay healthy and safe. Together, we must work to address equity on critical social justice issues; increased access to behavioral health treatment and provide resources to prevent fatal and nonfatal overdoses; and support small businesses and workers who have been hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. We must keep our economy going and also keep families safe.

DH: I consider 2020 to be a tipping point election year. The pandemic has served to unravel the delicate and fragile threads that held together a weak economy and a failing public school system. In addition, social unrest created more difficulties for the current administration. Public scrutiny over the handling of these situations has played an integral part in political platforms.

What is the biggest problem facing the state, and how would you solve it?

BL: For the foreseeable future, we must protect our families and communities and keep them safe. To do so, we must maintain our current pandemic resurgence strategy. As co-chair of the Pandemic Resurgence Advisory Committee, a detailed pandemic playbook was outlined, which focused on ensuring a secured personal protective equipment pipeline, robust testing sites, and continued engagement with communities of color, small businesses and the health system. Battling a pandemic takes all of us working together. That is why, I engaged a broad inclusive network of faith based and community leaders to provide essential feedback on the path forward. We also have to keep working to reduce both our fatal and non-fatal overdoses.

For the long-term future of our state, we must ensure new well-paying jobs, a robust economy, quality educational opportunities for all Delaware students, and equitable, affordable accessible health care. We must tackle climate change, reform our criminal justice system, secure the long-term financial stability of our state and provide a quality of life for our residents.

DH: Delaware is in dire need of quality employment opportunities to provide livable wages. I would seek to develop an economic development plan that specifically targets job growth and education reform.

What do you see as the most important duty of the lieutenant governor?

BL: My primary duties over the past four years have been chairing the Board of Pardons, presiding over the State Senate, and acting as a collaborator amongst community stakeholders statewide. One of the most important things the Lt. Governor can do is help those who need it most, which often means acting as a link or a resource for those who need assistance and connecting them with state agencies or other groups that can help them. Everyone has a voice and deserves to be heard. I have focused on constituent services because government is to work for the people.

DH: The lieutenant governor has two constitutional duties: preside over the senate and chair the board of pardons. Although each of these duties has an importance, I believe the influence of the office in executive decision making, has the potential to be far reaching and significantly impactful.

How would you work with the governor and legislature?

BL: I have a proven track record of working with both the administration and the legislature. I have served in both the House and Senate and established many meaningful relationships with both republicans and democrats across the state. Over my 20 years of public service, I have always made it a priority of being inclusive and working towards solutions for Delawareans. I will continue to do this work in my second term.

DH: I would be diligent in encouraging both to work to craft meaningful policy, with measurable outcomes, for the benefit of the citizens of Delaware.

Do you have any additional thoughts you wish to share?

BL: I firmly believe our government should uplift people, work for the people, and do so in a way that is equitable for everyone so that everyone has a fair shot and a level playing field — in all areas — from health to housing to the economy. This is where I have focused my work to make a difference and to make life better for the people of Delaware and I will continue to do so if reelected in November. I will continue to work for Delawareans in the way that I always have — with a spirit of inclusion and an opportunity for all to voice their ideas and opinions.

DH: Great policy is not rooted in partisan politics. Divisive partisan rhetoric hurts us as state. Politics are local and I pledge to work across the political aisle to find common ground solutions. I encourage all voters to be educated voters. Vote your values!