The filing deadline for candidates in Delaware was noon Tuesday and there has been a flurry of filings since Friday. The Sussex County Council has seen 6 candidates file for 2 open seats now that George Cole has announced that he will be stepping down at the end of his term and Rob Arlett is running for the US Senate and not for another term on the Council.
In the 4th Councilmanic District Democrat Paulette Rappa, who twice ran for the 37th District House seat, is challenging the winner of a Republican primary between former Clerk of the Peace George Parish and current Planning & Zoning Commissioner Doug Hudson. The 5th Councilmanic District has Board of Adjustment member Ellen Magee challenging the winner of a GOP primary between former Sussex GOP Chair John Rieley and Laurel Bank of Delmarva Branch manager Kevin Christophel. Register of Wills, Cindy Green, Recorder of Deeds, Scott Dailey and Sheriff Robert Lee have uncontested races.
The State Senate races will likely be the ones to watch. The State Senate has a 1 vote Democratic majority. There are just 10 Senate races and 6 of them are contested. Two are open seats that will remain Democrat (no GOP candidates filed), one open seat and one uncontested race will each remain Republican (no Democrats filed). While the other 5 contested races likely will remain with incumbents – although stranger things have happened in Delaware politics – the big race to watch is the 17th Senate seat, currently held by Democrat Brian Bushweller, who is retiring. Two Republicans are vying for the seat – Donyale Hall – a minority business owner from Dover and Justin King, the current mayor of Camden. They will face Trey Paradee of Dover, who’s looking to make the move from the State House. In Sussex County, Republican Dave Wilson will take over Gary Simpson’s seat in an uncontested race, 6th District Senator Ernie Lopez is challenged by former Sussex County Administrator/Finance Director David Baker and Senator Bryant Richardson is challenged by long-time Planning & Zoning commissioner Robert Wheatley.
In the State House – there are 10 vacated seats – two will remain Democrat and 1 Republican – although a third Democrat seat also has a write-in candidate which makes it a contended race. Overall without a vote, Democrats will hold onto 11 seats and 6 for the GOP. Six Democrats and 3 Republicans are retiring or running for other office. Many of the upstate races will see Democratic primaries with up to 5 candidates vying for one seat.
In Sussex County – Charlie Postles, Ruth Briggs King, Danny Short and Tim Dukes are running unopposed. 14th District Representative and Speaker of the House, Pete Schwartzkopf is challenged by Republican James DeMartino, an attorney and retired Marine. 20th District incumbent Steve Smyk is challenged by retired executive and educator, Jack Bucchioni of Milton. The 35th District seat has been vacated by Republican Dave Wilson but will remain with the GOP – after a primary between Bridgeville businessman Jesse Vanderwende and banker Robert Mitchell or Greenwood. Former Milford Mayor Bryan Shupe and Democrat Donald Allan, a Milton carpenter, will face off for the 36th District. Representative Ron Gray is challenged by Dagsboro attorney Meghan Kelly for the 38th District seat. And 41st District Representative Rich Collins is challenged by former Dagsboro mayor Brad Connor.
Delaware’s primary election is September 6th – the General Election set for November 6th. Click here for the full slate of candidates from federal and statewide offices to Kent and Sussex County offices.