Hall-Long eyes run for lieutenant governor

DOVER — State Sen. Bethany Hall-Long is considering a run for lieutenant governor, making an already packed field even more crowded.

A Middletown Democrat, Sen. Hall-Long, 51, formed a committee last month, joining the five candidates who have previously declared.

Sen. Hall-Long has not officially entered the race, but has formed a committee to allow her to raise money.

So far, candidates include Kent County Levy Court Commissioner Brad Eaby, former Sussex Register of Wills Greg Fuller, Rehoboth Beach Commissioner Kathy McGuiness, New Castle Register of Wills Ciro Poppiti and Wilmington Councilwoman Sherry Dorsey Walker, all Democrats.

However, only Ms. McGuiness and Mr. Poppiti have paid their filing fees.

Sen. Bethany Hall-Long

Sen. Bethany Hall-Long

Sen. Hall-Long said she is “exploring” running for higher office and expects to make a decision soon.

A nursing professor at the University of Delaware, Sen. Hall-Long was elected to the state House of Representatives in 2002. In 2008, she won a seat in the Senate. She is not up for re-election in 2016.

In 2014, she narrowly defeated a Republican challenger by only 2 percent of the vote after her husband was caught stealing Republican campaign signs. Dana Long was charged with theft under $1,500.

An agreement was reached under mediation, so the senator’s husband wasn’t prosecuted.

As a legislator, Sen. Hall-Long has focused on health issues. She serves as the chairwoman of the Senate Health and Social Services Committee. Of the 20 pieces of legislation for which she was the lead sponsor in 2015, nearly all related to health care and medicine.

The left-leaning Americans for Democratic Action ranked her in the middle of the pack among all 21 senators in its 2015 “progressive” rating report.

Sen. Hall-Long had been rumored to be mulling a run for months. She was present at the Democratic Jamboree in Lewes in August, along with more than half a dozen other candidates for office.

While six Democrats are in the race for lieutenant governor, no Republicans have yet announced.
U.S. Rep. John Carney, D-Del., is running for governor and it remains to be seen if he will choose to endorse a candidate for lieutenant governor,, at least publicly.

Meanwhile, Republican Rose Izzo, who sought the state’s lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in each of the past three elections, filed papers last week to again run for Congress.

Sen. Bryan Townsend, D-Newark; Rep. Bryon Short, D-Arden; and Republican Hans Reigle, the former mayor of Wyoming, are already seeking to replace Rep. Carney.

Ms. Izzo lost the Republican party primary in 2010 and 2012, but was uncontested for the nomination in 2014. She garnered about 37 percent of the vote in the general election against Rep. Carney.
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Reach staff writer Matt Bittle at mbittle@newszap.com

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