Fifty of 52 eligible Delaware lawmakers seeking re-election

DOVER — With six days left before the filing deadline for this year’s elections, all incumbent state lawmakers who intend to seek re-election have filed.

Up for re-election in the Senate are Sens. Harris McDowell, D-Wilmington; Catherine Cloutier, R-Arden; Patricia Blevins, D-Elsmere; David Sokola, D-Newark; Nicole Poore, D-New Castle; David McBride, D-Wilmington Manor; Bruce Ennis, D-Smyrna; David Lawson, R-Marydel; Brian Pettyjohn, R-Georgetown; and Gerald Hocker, R-Ocean View.

The seat held by Sen. Karen Peterson, D-Stanton, is also in this year’s cycle, but Sen. Peterson announced last month she is retiring after 14 years in the General Assembly.

So far, Sen. McDowell, who represents the 1st District, is the only member of the Senate with a primary, although two Democrats have filed to replace Sen. Peterson.

Making a bid for the open seat in the 9th District are John Walsh and Caitlin Olsen.

Sen. McDowell is seeking to win his 41st and 42nd years in the legislature, which would be a state record.

Barbara Vaughn

Barbara Vaughn

Seven senators have challengers, including opponents potentially both in the primary and the general election for Sen. McDowell.

No one has filed to run against Sen. Poore in the 12th District, Sen. McBride in the 13th District, Sen. Lawson in the 15th District or Sen. Pettyjohn in the 19th District.

In the House, 40 representatives of 41 representatives have submitted their paperwork to the Department of Elections. Only 33rd District Rep. Harold “Jack” Peterman, R-Milford, is not running. He has spent six years in the legislature.

In contrast to the Senate, two-thirds of incumbents in the House are set to go unchallenged. So far, 14 districts will be contested, with primaries in the 7th, 9th, 10th, 14th, 15, 33rd and 35th districts. Only in the 9th and 33rd Districts do the primaries not involve the current officeholder.

Robert Scott, Charles Postles and Morgan Hudson are all running as Republicans for the House’s lone open seat, with Democrat Karen Williams seeking office as well. Rep. Peterman has endorsed Mr. Scott, calling him a friend.

Across the state, five Delawareans are running as Libertarians, making them the only current candidates affiliated with a minor party.

Seven challengers for General Assembly spots have filed in the past month: Barbara Vaughan, James DeMartino, Lanette Edwards, S. Bradley Connor, Ms. Williams, Mr. Walsh and Ms. Olsen.

Ms. Vaughan, a Democrat, is seeking to defeat Rep. Stephen Smyk, R-Milton, in the 20th District.

“Given the nature of the issues facing us, I strongly believe that a bipartisan approach is necessary to finding practical, workable solutions,” she said in a statement. “Over the years I have developed positive relationships with the county and state officials on both sides of the aisle.”

Mr. DeMartino is running as a Republican in the 14th District, currently represented by House Speaker Peter Schwartzkopf, a Democrat.

Lanette Edwards

Lanette Edwards

Ms. Edwards is running in the 22nd District against Rep. Joseph Miro, R-Pike Creek Valley.

“This is a critical election with serious issues hanging in the balance that affect the day-to-day lives of Delawareans,” she said in a statement. “I want to be an advocate for the community, fighting for improvements to education that benefit both students and teachers, job training programs to get Delawareans back to work, as well as reasonable efforts to reduce gun violence.”

Mr. Bradley, a Democrat, will take on Rep. Richard Collins, R-Millsboro, in the 41st District.

At the top of the ticket, both U.S. Rep. John Carney and state Sen. Colin Bonini have yet to file for governor. Rep. Carney, the presumed front-runner, is the sole Democrat running, while Sen. Bonini, a Dover Republican, will have to face former state trooper Lacey Lafferty in a primary. The GOP has endorsed Sen. Bonini.

While six Democrats have filed for lieutenant governor, zero Republicans have yet to submit their paperwork. However, businessman La Mar Gunn announced his candidacy in April and is expected to file Monday, one day before the deadline.

Reach staff writer Matt Bittle at mbittle@newszap.com

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