Carney will be next governor; Rochester makes history; Clinton wins in Delaware

The latest news on Election Day in Delaware:

Delaware Department of Elections live results – Voter turnout: 65 percent

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Lisa Blunt Rochester will be Delaware’s first woman and first minority to serve in Congress. Delaware State News photo/Marc Clery

Midnight — As the nation awaited an outcome on the electoral votes in the race for president, Delaware Gov. Jack Markell praised the First State’s choice of Hillary Clinton and the historical choice of Lisa Blunt Rochester in a statement.

He wrote: “We have made history tonight, giving our state’s Electoral College votes to a woman for the first time and electing a woman and an African-American to represent Delaware in Congress. Whomever you supported in those races, the performances of Hillary Clinton and Lisa Blunt Rochester on our ballot represents another important milestone in breaking down barriers in our state. I hope it will open the door for more women and minorities to pursue public office in the years to come.”

9:56 p.m. — A review of the county votes shows a real divide in Delaware. Donald Trump won Kent and Sussex counties, but New Castle’s numbers gave Hillary Clinton the edge.

Also, it’s worth noting that congressional candidate Hans Reigle, a Republican, won Kent and Sussex but lost in New Castle.

Republicans Colin Bonini, candidate for governor, and LaMar Gunn, candidate for lieutenant governor, only won Sussex County.

9:50 p.m. — In Kent County, incumbents Brooks Banta and Jody Sweeney, both Democrats, will retain Levy Court seats.

In Sussex County, I.G. Burton III has won a seat on the county council.

9:30 p.m.— With the Democratic dominance statewide, former Delaware Labor Secretary Lisa Blunt Rochester has won Delaware’s U.S. House race, becoming the first African-American and first woman elected to represent the state in Congress.

Riding voter registration numbers that heavily favor Democrats, Rochester defeated Republican Hans Reigle in Tuesday’s election.

Rochester, a political newcomer, loaned her campaign more than $400,000 and spent almost $1 million in topping a crowded field of Democratic primary candidates before defeating Reigle, a retired military pilot and former mayor of the Kent County town of Wyoming.

Rochester, who has said her focus in Congress would be jobs, the economy and equal pay for equal work, will succeed fellow Democrat John Carney, who vacated Delaware’s lone seat in the House to run for governor.

9:23 p.m. — Big news in the State Senate: Republican Anthony Delcollo has defeated incumbent Democrat Patricia Blevins in the 7th District (Wilmington area). This shifts balance in the state senate by a seat.

With state Sen. Bethany Hall-Long wining the lieutenant governor’s race and vacating her seat in the senate, the balance will be 10 Republicans, 10 Democrats without her. An upcoming special election will decide the balance of the senate.

9:15 p.m. — In Sussex, the first state representative to officially win re-election is Ruth Briggs-King, a Georgetown Republican, in the 37th Representative District. With 62 percent of the vote, she defeated Democratic challenger Paulette Rappa.

Of Downstate incumbent lawmakers, Timothy Dukes, R-Laurel, Ronald Gray, R-Selbyville and Harvey Kenton Jr., D-Milford were unopposed.

8:44 p.m. — Early indications are that Sussex County supported Republicans in each of the statewide races. In 2012, Sussex voted for Mitt Romney while Kent and New Castle backed Barack Obama.

Postings are still in the early stages, but Democrats seem to have small advantage in Kent and definitely dominate in New Castle.

8:10 p.m. — Democratic Congressman John Carney has won the Delaware governor’s race, eight years after losing his first bid to become the state’s chief executive, the AP reports.

Taking advantage of voter registration numbers that heavily favor Democrats, Carney defeated Republican state Sen. Colin Bonini of Dover in Tuesday’s gubernatorial contest.

Carney has said job creation and economic development will be among his top priorities, along with improving Delaware’s public education system. At the same time, he has acknowledged that the next governor faces significant challenges, given troubling revenue expectations and escalating costs for Medicaid and state employee health care.

Carney will succeed Jack Markell, who defeated Carney in the 2008 Democratic gubernatorial primary.

Carney, who served as lieutenant governor under Markell’s predecessor, Ruth Ann Minner, was then elected to Congress in 2010.

8:05 p.m.  —  Hillary Clinton has defeated Donald Trump in Delaware’s presidential vote, the Associated Press reports.

Clinton enjoyed a victory Tuesday in a traditionally blue state where Democrats have controlled the executive and legislative branches for years and have built a strong advantage in voter registration numbers.

By winning Delaware, Clinton added three electoral votes to her nationwide total.

Clinton and Trump each made brief visits to Delaware during their respective primary campaigns. Clinton was joined by Gov. Jack Markell and all three members of Delaware’s congressional delegation at an April rally in Wilmington. Trump drew thousands of supporters to a rally at the state fairgrounds in Harrington that same month.

7:45 p.m. — Once the results come in, we’ll learn whether Delaware’s Democratic Party majority continues the presidential voting trend in the First State. Delaware has sided with the Democratic Party ticket the last six elections.

The state has backed the Democratic Party’s gubernatorial candidates during the same time period.

7:30 p.m. — Half hour until polls close in Delaware.

7:22 p.m.  — The Associated Press is reporting Republican Donald Trump has won Kentucky and Indiana while Democrat Hillary Clinton has won Vermont. No surprises.

4:45 p.m. — Delaware state troopers were called to a voting location in Elsmere in response to a complaint of disorderly conduct involving a couple of supporters of Donald Trump, but no arrests were made. State police spokesman Cpl. Jeffrey Hale says troopers spoke to the men, advised them that they shouldn’t talk to voters as they were coming in to Baltz Elementary School to vote, and that they needed to stay at least 50 feet away from the polling location, as required by state law.

State elections commissioner Elaine Manlove said a woman called her about the “scary white men.” Manlove says she didn’t know about the nature of the complaint, but that the men did not appear to be doing anything wrong. Manlove said her office did not notify police.

3:30 p.m. — Vice President Joe Biden has voted at a Wilmington high school, also hugging poll workers, posing for photos and chatting with neighbors.

After casting his ballot shortly after 7:30 a.m. Tuesday at Alexis I. du Pont High School, Biden declared, “it’s a beautiful day to vote.” Working the crowd, Biden said, “What’s your name?” ”How are you?” and “I haven’t seen you in Mass lately.” He thanked voters for performing their civic duty and saluted volunteers for helping the process run smoothly.

Biden also visited a Newark coffee shop Tuesday and talked with a large crowd of University of Delaware students that gathered.

2:40 p.m. – Standing near the Clayton fire hall, Mark Moore was surprised to see Gov. Jack Markell emerge from a vehicle that had just pulled up at 1:15 p.m.

“That was a nice experience,” Mr. Moore said. “I was impressed that he would visit our community, our small town. He seemed like a good person.”

The governor was in the midst of stopping at several voting locations throughout the state. He chatted amiably with four bystanders – including Clayton Police Chief Brian Hill and Lt. Carl Hutson – for nearly 10 minutes before heading toward his next appearance at Cape Henlopen High in Lewes.

Gov. Jack Markell rallies voters in Clayton Tuesday afternoon. Photo by Craig Anderson/Delaware State News

Gov. Jack Markell rallies voters in Clayton Tuesday afternoon. Photo by Craig Anderson/Delaware State News

2:30 p.m. — Delaware’s elections commissioner says early turnout appears to be high as voters cast their ballots for president and a host of statewide and local offices.

Elections Commissioner Elaine Manlove says roughly 160,000 people had cast ballots at voting precincts across the state as of about noon Tuesday. That’s in addition to about 24,000 Delawareans who voted by absentee ballot.

Those combined totals represent more than a fourth of the state’s roughly 675,600 registered voters.

Manlove says there have been no reports of voting machine problems.

Weather proved to be no deterrent to voters, with sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-60s

Democratic Party candidate for governor John Carney delivers pizzas to his crew in Dover. Delaware State News photo/Marc Clery

Democratic Party candidate for governor John Carney delivers pizzas to his crew in Dover. Delaware State News photo/Marc Clery

12:10 p.m. – Heavy traffic entered and exited the Elks Lodge #1903 parking lot in Dover at approximately 10 a.m. Arriving vehicles were briefly backed up into Saulsbury Road to make a right turn in, and one motorist avoided a potential fender bender with a loud honk as other voters walked briskly up to and away from the polling building.

Several citizens declined to reveal their votes after emerging from the booth and heading outside, but sounded relieved that election day had arrived after months of often nasty campaigning in the presidential race.

Herb Coleman, who has  voted in every election since Dwight D. Eisenhower was chosen as president in 1952, said he’d never experienced anything like Trump versus Clinton in 2016.

“There’s never been so many negative things said in a race,” he said. “Never.”

Mr. Coleman and his wife Gloria did volunteer that they had differing opinions on the presidential vote, but answered in unison what they’d remember about this year’s race – “The bickering,”

While Ms. Coleman “had always had fun watching and listening” to the candidates vie for office, she said “this time it was disgusting. The more you heard the easier it became to turn against both of them.”

Said Mr. Coleman, “I knew from the beginning what I wanted to hear and made up my mind early. I didn’t need to hear anything else but there was no avoiding it.”

Shannon Bargo was at her second polling station, but made it clear she had only voted once for an undisclosed candidate. She earlier took her mother to another voting location, and planned to join her sister at a third later in the day.

“I have done what is my American privilege and voted, and now am going to sit back and watch what happens,” she said.

The bitter rancor will remain after election day, Ms. Bargo believed, saying “It’s not over yet. Some people are not going to be happy no matter what the results are.”

With an “I Voted” sticker stuck to her neck, Michelle Crockett described her experience inside the booth and behind the curtain.

“I stood in there and said to myself, ‘OK, here I go,’ “ she recounted, taking a deep breath.

“I read everyone’s name and said ‘This is a moment to remember’ and then hoped I was making the right choices.”

Ms. Crockett described the presidential race as a “boxing match” and said both candidates had “plenty to answer for.” She was disappointed that facts and problems affecting the nation were rarely discussed.

“There seemed to be a lot of talk about things that didn’t really matter,” she said.

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Republican Party candidate for governor Colin Bonini exits the voting booth at Polytech High School in Woodside. Delaware State News photo/Marc Clery

10:30 a.m. — At W.B. Simpson Elementary School, a steady stream of voters flowed in and out around 10.

Outside, 34th Representative District Dave Henderson and several other people greeted them. Mr. Henderson, a Democrat hoping to unseat Rep. Lyndon Yearick, had already visited Polytech High School and had several other stops planned throughout the day.

Although he declined to say who he voted for in the presidential election, he said his choice was largely based on choices the next president could make that would affect the country for decades.

“We only have a president for four or eight years, but the Supreme Court picks, they could be in there for decades,” Mr. Henderson said.

Lance Chandler cast his vote at W.B. Simpson for Donald Trump, deciding his support for Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence and dislike of Mrs. Clinton, the Affordable Care Act and welfare outweighed his distaste for Mr. Trump.

“I’m hoping he relies a lot on his vice president,” he said of Mr. Trump.

Too many Americans are working multiple jobs just to get by while others are being rewarded with “free stuff,” he said.

Cheryl Kenley, who described herself as a “Democrat since the day I was born,” voted for Mrs. Clinton.

Not everyone out there supporting candidates was even old enough to vote.

Thirteen-year-old Zach Fields stood in front of W.B. Simpson with his uncle, wearing stickers for Rep. Yearick and 32nd District hopeful Patricia Foltz.

Zach said he would cast his ballot Mr. Trump if he were able to because “this country needs a change.” He supports Mr. Trump’s stances on cracking down on immigration and repealing the Affordable Care Act and, admitting the Republican nominee has flaws, said they are no greater than anyone else’s.

7 a.m. — Polls have opened.

Need info on where to vote? Visit https://ivote.de.gov/.

Need info on what to expect and what to do at the polls? Check out this primer.

On the ballot are candidates for president, governor, House of Representatives, lieutenant governor, insurance commissioner and state Legislature. Some local offices will also be present.

Delawareans can choose between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump for president, with Green Jill Stein and Libertarian Gary Johnson also appearing.

Democrat John Carney and Republican Colin Bonini, as well as Green Andrew Groff and Libertarian Sean Goward, square off for governor. In the race for the House, Democrat Lisa Blunt Rochester, Republican Hans Reigle, Green Mark Perri and Libertarian Scott Gesty are the candidates. Bethany Hall-Long, a Democrat, and the GOP’s La Mar Gunn are competing for lieutenant governor, while the insurance commissioner contest features Democrat Trinidad Navarro and Republican Jeff Cragg.

All four statewide offices are guaranteed to have new blood, with the incumbents either term-limited, seeking another seat or having been defeated in the primary.

Fifty-two legislative seats — 11 in the Senate and 41 in the House — are on the ballot today, although 25 lawmakers have no opposition.

The GOP is trying to take control of the Senate for the first time since 1973.

Schools are closed today for the election.

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