Leaders of state GOP, Dem parties react to local vote

DOVER — As Delaware party leadership awaited the presidential race outcome Wednesday, there was time to digest the general election’s local results, as well.

Democratic Party Executive Director Jesse Chadderdon said he was enthused that “(Tuesday) night we shattered turnout records — with, (for the first time,) a half-million Delawareans voting. …”

Jesse Chadderdon

“That is certainly attributable to voter enthusiasm on both sides, but it’s also rooted in our party’s embrace of vote-by-mail and our efforts to educate tens of thousands of voters as to how to safely and securely return their ballots.”

According to Mr. Chadderdon, the use of mailed ballots to vote played a key role in flipping two New Castle County state Senate seats to Democrats Kyle Evans Gay in District 5 and Spiros Mantzavinos in District 7. The victories expanded the party’s advantage in the Senate to 14-7. A 26-15 margin in the state House of Representatives remained, as well.

“Of course, we wouldn’t have flipped these seats and won elections up and down the ballot without strong, service-oriented candidates who share Delaware’s values of inclusion and economic opportunity for all,” Mr. Chadderdon said.

Prior to the elections, Republican Party Chair Jane Brady had expressed confidence that state Sens. Cathy Cloutier and Anthony Delcollo could hold their seats in New Castle County, but both fell by far closer margins than many GOP candidates did statewide.

Jane Brady

Ms. Brady spoke to both campaigns afterward, “and they candidly don’t know what more or different they could have done to change the results.”

“I think the factor that most significantly overshadowed all of the local races was the possibility that someone from Delaware might become president of the United States. Democrat turnout reflects that.”

Overall, Ms. Brady said, “Naturally, we are disappointed in the results. The candidates worked extremely hard.

“Under the COVID restrictions, challengers are at a disadvantage, and the results reflect that.”

Mr. Chadderdon described voters as responding “overwhelmingly” to the “smart and steady leadership” for party incumbents at the top of the ticket, including U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, Gov. John Carney and Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long.

Down the ballot, Mr. Chadderdon touted the election of Sarah McBride, the nation’s first openly transgender state senator, as well as two openly gay legislators (Rep. Eric Morrison and Sen. Marie Pinkney), four new Black legislators (Reps. Sherae’a Moore, Larry Lambert and Madinah Wilson-Anton, along with Sen. Pinkney). Rep. Wilson-Anton also becomes the state’s first Muslim lawmaker.

Those results ensured “that our General Assembly continues to look more like the citizenry of Delaware. Meanwhile, every Democratic incumbent deservedly won reelection, with voters roundly rejecting the countless Trump proteges the Delaware GOP ran against them.”