Big money in elections around Delaware

DOVER — If elections are determined by money, then Sarah McBride can go ahead and consider herself a senator-elect already.

Ms. McBride, a Democratic political activist running for the 1st Senatorial District, raised almost $172,000 between July 2 and the end of 2019, according to recently filed campaign finance reports.

That sum, her campaign said, is an “unprecedented” amount for a first-time candidate in the state. As of the end of the year, she had $157,000 on hand, with donations from more than 2,100 people across 48 states.

Sarah McBride

She would be the first transgender individual to win election to and serve in a state Senate if she wins. Incumbent Harris McDowell, a Democrat who has represented the north Wilmington district since 1976, is not seeking another term.

Gov. John Carney, who is gunning for reelection, raised slightly more than $181,000 in 2019, giving him about $468,000 to spend. His donors include several current or former elected Democrats, including Jack Markell, his predecessor as governor. A few of his cabinet secretaries also contributed to the Carney campaign.

The governor spent almost $133,000 last year.

Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long, a fellow Democrat, raised $55,000 and had $32,000 total left unspent.

Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro pulled in more than $70,000, leaving $114,000 available. Democrat Abegunde Kayode, who is primarying Mr. Navarro, reported collecting almost $3,100, as well as loaning his campaign close to $2,500. He spent almost all of that sum.

Democrats are gunning hard to unseat Republican Cathy Cloutier in the 5th Senatorial District, with a three-way primary looking possible. Sen. Cloutier was first elected to the northern New Castle County seat in 2000, but over the past decade, the area has gained about 2,300 Democrats and 2,100 independents while losing 1,100 registered Republicans.

Nonetheless, Sen. Cloutier is bolstered by her campaign war chest, with $104,000 on hand after raising around $33,000 and loaning herself $45,000.

Democrat Kyle Evans Gay raised close to $46,000 and loaned her campaign $5,000, giving her $46,000 to spend as of the end of 2019. Eric Levin pulled in almost $3,600 and was left with $500, while Jeffrey Politis raised $300 and loaned himself $10,000, meaning he had a little more than $8,300 on hand.

One of the most meaningful contests figures to be the 13th Senatorial District Democratic primary, where Marie Pinkney is trying to defeat President Pro Tempore David McBride, a 42-year member of the legislature. Sen. McBride, who hails from the New Castle area, collected just shy of $83,000, leaving him with more than $110,000. Ms. Pinkney, who entered the race about two weeks before the end of 2019, had one donation of $150.

The 15th Senatorial District, which sits in western Kent County, is set to feature a clash between incumbent Dave Lawson, a Republican, and Democrat Jaci Hugg.

Sen. Dave Lawson

Sen. Lawson raised about $16,000, giving him $32,000 to spend this year. Ms. Hugg collected almost $11,000, to go with a loan of more than $2,000. She had $8,000 left at year’s end.

Senate Majority Leader Nicole Poore raised almost $69,000 and closed out the year with about $66,000. The New Castle Democrat represents the 12th Senatorial District.

Across the aisle, Senate Minority Leader Gerald Hocker, who represents Ocean View and the surrounding areas in the 20th Senatorial District, pulled in almost $5,100 and had $15,000 left when the year concluded.

In the 26th Representative District, which covers part of the Newark area, Madinah Wilson-Anton outraised incumbent John Viola but still fell well short of him in cash on hand. Ms. Wilson-Anton pulled in close to $21,000, with about $15,000 left as of the end of 2019. For his part, Rep. Viola collected $6,900 and had almost $54,000 left to spend.

First elected in 1998, Rep. Viola is the longest-serving member of the House. Ms. Wilson-Anton is a former aide in the chamber. Both are Democrats.

The Glasgow-based 27th Representative District also features a Democratic primary, with Eric Morrison aiming to unseat officeholder Earl Jaques. Mr. Morrison raised about $32,000, not including a $20,000 self-loan, and had $38,000 left. Rep. Jaques collected $12,000, with almost $25,000 unspent.

House Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf, a Democrat in the 14th Representative District in Rehoboth Beach, reported raising almost $50,000, giving him $109,000 for 2020. He was the only Delawarean to receive a donation from former Gov. Ruth Ann Minner last year.

House Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf

The second-in-command in the House, Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst, brought in about around $16,000 and had $113,000 on hand as of the end of 2019. The Bear Democrat represents the 15th Representative District.

In the 29th Representative District, which centers on Cheswold and the north Dover area, Democratic incumbent Bill Bush raised nearly $41,000 and had $35,000 on hand. Republican Robin Hayes, who unsuccessfully challenged him in 2018, collected almost $10,000. She had $6,000 left.

A bit farther south, first-term Republican Rep. Bryan Shupe pulled in $3,500. He had $2,500 left to aid him in a bid for a second term holding the Milford seat. His likely opponent in the 36th Representative District, Democrat Greg Fuller, both raised and had remaining $6,500.

In the 21st Representative District, Stephanie Barry is trying to finish what she started two years ago and knock off GOP incumbent Mike Ramone. Rep. Ramone, from Pike Creek Valley, raised about $30,000 and had $55,000 on hand. Ms. Barry, a Democrat, pulled in about $11,000. Coupled with a $1,000 loan to her campaign, she had around $9,000 to spend as of the end of 2019.

The primary election is Sept. 15, with the general election slated for Nov. 3