Three square off in Republican primary for open 33rd District

 

DOVER — Just two legislative seats are truly up for grabs this year. While voters in 52 Senate or House districts will go the polls, the officeholders in 50 of those districts are seeking another term.

In contrast, the 9th Senatorial and 33rd Representative districts are guaranteed to send new blood to Dover.

In the 33rd, which covers southeast Kent County, including part of Milford, three Republicans are competing to replace Rep. Harold “Jack” Peterman. A Republican, Rep. Peterman won election in 2010 and served three terms before deciding not to run again due to health issues.

He died in August at age 74.

Candidate Charles Postles from 2014 and newcomers Morgan Hudson and Bob Scott are vying to replace him. Mr. Scott was endorsed by Rep. Peterman.

Morgan Hudson

Morgan Hudson

Charles Postles

Charles Postles

Bob Scott

Bob Scott

All three support reducing the number of government regulations, providing more support to small businesses and reducing state spending.

A small-business owner, Mr. Scott believes “overbearing regulations” are strangling business growth.

“Everything is going up but the regulations are going up twice as fast,” the 46-year-old said.

He wants to shift more educational control to individual districts and schools and away from the Department of Education.

Mr. Postles, 67, said government statutes “are crippling expansion of existing business and just discouraging startups.”

He believes making Delaware a right-to-work state would help boost its economy and bring more manufacturing jobs to the state.

Like Rep. Peterman, he is a career farmer.

Ms. Hudson, 25, would be one of the youngest lawmakers ever if she wins the seat.

“I would like to bring more career jobs to our area and help people addicted to heroin,” she said.

A member of a family-run small business, she supports placing a greater emphasis on treatment rather than punishment for drug offenders.

Mr. Postles, who garnered about 36 percent of the vote in an unsuccessful primary challenge to Rep. Peterman two years ago, believes the district was not properly served by its officeholder the past few years. Due to health issues, Rep. Peterman missed 55 of 87 legislative days in 2015 and 2016.

The other two candidates, in contrast, both praised the late representative.

Mr. Scott said Rep. Peterman, a family friend, told him in August 2015 he was thinking of not running and would endorse Mr. Scott in that case.

Ms. Hudson said she hopes to follow in the former seatholder’s example by being a well-liked voice for the community. Voters have expressed interest in having a younger person fill the seat, she said.

Mr. Postles served on the Milford School Board from 1994 to 2003 and has been a director of the Kent County Farm Bureau and nonprofit Delmarva Poultry Industry. Mr. Scott is a longtime volunteer firefighter and past president and director of the Kent County Volunteer Firefighter’s Association and Kent County Fire Chief’s Association.

All three candidates are longtime residents of the district. The winner of the primary will meet Democrat Karen Williams in November.

Reach staff writer Matt Bittle at mbittle@newszap.com

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