State considering lieutenant governor candidate’s eligibility

DOVER — The Delaware Department of Elections is investigating whether lieutenant governor candidate Kathy McGuiness meets the state’s residency requirement.

The Delaware Constitution requires the lieutenant governor to be a resident of the state for 12 years, the last six of which must be consecutively before the election. At issue is the fact Ms. McGuiness, who is running as a Democrat in a crowded field, has a condominium in Park City, Utah, and, according to the Utah lieutenant governor’s office, voted in the state in a municipal election in 2011 and in the general election in 2012.

Delaware Elections Commissioner Elaine Manlove said the office is looking into the matter and has a meeting planned with the department’s deputy attorney general this week about Ms. McGuiness’ eligibility.

Peter Dougherty, a spokesman for Ms. McGuiness, said the campaign is not worried about the question and has submitted a dossier of information to the state, including case law.

Kathy McGuiness

Kathy McGuiness

For her part, Ms. McGuiness has no doubts as to whether she meets the precondition.

“I have been a permanent resident of the state of Delaware my entire life,” she said in a statement.

“Although my family owns a condominium where we stay when vacationing in Park City, I have never ‘lived’ there or otherwise taken up residence in the state of Utah. I have instead been domiciled in the state of Delaware at all times… Delaware is where I live and work, Delaware is where I file my taxes and Delaware has always been my only home.

“So yes, I meet the residency qualification. There can be no serious question about that. Anyone who would suggest otherwise must have something to lose in light of the positive electricity and tremendous statewide support my candidacy has generated. That’s just politics as usual.”

Ms. McGuiness, who lives in Rehoboth Beach, filed for lieutenant governor in May. Five other individuals, all Democrats, are running for the office.

Staff writer Matt Bittle can be reached at 741-8250 or Follow @MatthewCBittle on Twitter.

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