Retired nurse to challenge Sen. Bonini

DOVER — Democrats now have candidates for every state Senate race.

Louisa Phillips, a retired nurse and health care executive, recently announced she will challenge Sen. Colin Bonini in the 16th Senatorial District.

The district covers the southeast quarter of Kent County, stretching from east Dover to just north of Milford. It has been represented by Sen. Bonini, a Republican, since 1994.

Ms. Phillips said more focus needs to be placed on Kent County’s infrastructure, noting the southern part of the county has seen significant growth.

“Growth in the area means people are spending more and more time sitting in traffic. If elected as your senator, solving the issues of highway and road congestion, construction and safety would be my main priority,” she said in a statement. “Infrastructure investments in our area have been lacking and I will be the squeaky wheel.

Louisa Phillips

“With daily traffic backups on Route 13 near Camden, more traffic and development coming to the sports complex near Frederica, and neglected roads and streets throughout the district, we need someone focused on making sure the road and infrastructure money that is supposed to be spent in our area actually gets here and does some good.”

She said she would promote efforts to create jobs, particularly ones that do not need college degrees.

“This is an area where kids grow up and leave because of lack of options for making a living – we need to change that,” she said. “If elected, I would work on matching job creation programs to the reality of what is available within Kent County.

“Not every job requires a four-year college degree, and I would especially be interested in pathways for kids to get jobs in growing areas like healthcare and construction, as well as areas such as farming and fishing that are traditional cornerstones of the 16th Senate District.”

A lifelong resident of the area, Ms. Phillips started her career at Kent General Hospital and worked her way up at Milford Memorial Hospital, Scott Paper Company and Bayhealth Medical Center.

She is a member of the Education and Enforcement committee of the Advisory Council on Walkability and Pedestrian Awareness and has held leadership positions in several nonprofits. She has master’s degrees in nursing, business administration and human resources.

Of the district’s approximately 31,900 registered voters, 12,500 are Democrats. Another 10,600 are Republicans and 8,800 are independents.

In 2008, the last time he had a Democratic opponent, Sen. Bonini picked up 56.4 percent of the vote.

Reach staff writer Matt Bittle at mbittle@newszap.com

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