The Final Predictions III: The Delaware House

Filed in Delaware, National by on November 4, 2012

Onto the House. The Dems currently have a 26-15 member advantage over the Republicans. In the House, you need 21 seats for a majority. To win back control of the chamber, the GOP would need to win 6 seats while defending all of theirs. As you can see above, 15 Democrats are either unopposed or face nominal third party opposition, and thus are all virtual locks for reelection. So the Democrats are already 6 seats away from maintaining control of the chamber without even breaking a sweat. 5 Republicans are similarly unopposed or nominally opposed by third parties, so the current standing is 15 Democrats, 5 Republicans.

Then we move to our contested column, and again these are races where both main parties have fielded candidates, but the incumbent or the incumbent party is heavily favored to win, whether the factors be the quality of the challengers or the incumbents and the demographics of the district. In this category, I see some quality candidates losing, like Beth McGinn and Trey Paradee. Both are running spirited campaigns, and hopefully they will surprise me on election night, but right now, without polling, I am just not feeling it.

El Som agrees. Here is what he had to say on both:

Beth McGinn is the real deal. Strong supporter of tenant’s rights, a leader in the American Legion Auxiliary. She has a puncher’s chance against incumbent R Ruth Briggs King, who takes a backseat to no other legislator when it comes to screwing tenants. McGinn got started late, though, and that could cost her. King wins, but by a margin that should encourage McGinn to keep on running for 2014. […]

One of the best legislative races of the year. R Rep. Lincoln Willis, who is among the very few promising GOP young guns in the General Assembly, is facing a tested and savvy campaigner in Trey Paradee. Paradee almost defeated incumbent Rep. Pam Thornburg in 2008. Paradee has skilfully carved up Willis’ voting record at a series of public debates/candidate forums. This is especially important b/c this district has been redrawn, Willis has lost several of his key stronghold election districts, primarily to the new 11th RD, and these debates often are voters’ first introduction to the candidates. In addition, Paradee maintains that the key voting bloc this time around will be people who have moved to Delaware in the past ten years. The Willis name is well-known in the area due to the auto dealership his family runs. This can go either way, but I’m predicting that Willis ekes out a win, based on remaining family goodwill. It’s not like you have to live next to the dealership to buy a car from there. And Willis is a better candidate than Thornburg was in 2008. Win or lose, both Willis and Paradee have great political futures should they decide to stay in the game.

I hope McGinn and Paradee run in 2014. They are great candidates. And hopefully I am proven wrong in the comments.

In the actual races category, these are the races I saw as toss ups right after the primary. Obviously, some of these races are not going to be close, like the 19th RD race to replace Speaker Gilligan. Kimberly Williams will win easily. I just listed her race as a toss up, or actual race, based on our unfamiliarity with both her and her opponent as candidates. Williams has ran a good campaign, and given the demographics of the district, she will be the next Representative from the Pike Creek area.

In the race to replace Terry Schooley in the 23rd, like El Som I see a closer more competitive race, but I also see Paul Baumbach winning. He too, like Bryan Townsend in the Senate, has run a great grass roots campaign with lots of shoe leather left on the streets.

In the rest of these competitive races, I think I disagree with El Som in his predictions. I see Lynn Newlin winning in the new 11th, but I see Steve Smyck beating Marie Mayor down in the new 20th in Sussex County. Jud Bennett has sent out the following email to his email list, lambasting the supposed “homosexual agenda” that Marie is seeking, all the while lying to his readers in saying he is not a rabid social conservative. Here is the email in full:

From: “Jud Bennett-Coastal Network”
Date: Nov 3, 2012 10:36 AM
Subject: Research on lesbian,Gay, Bisexual, transgender group (LGBT)

Dear Friends,

Folks, before you read this dissertation, I want to make myself perfectly clear. As a Republican who embraces capitilism and free enterprise, I am by no means a social conservative, a member of the tea party, or intollerant of different life-styles. What I do find disconcerting are hidden agendas involved in the political process. I am also a political pundit who periodically shares my opinions which is my 1st amendment right, so brace yourselves :).

The “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender organization” (LGBT) is what I believe, the Democrat Candidate for the 20th District Representative seat- Marie Mayor, is involved in. She appears to be connected in many ways-it’s all around her. This organization has endorsed her and has apparently given her money either indirectly or directly. Everything points towards this agenda from the research information I have received about her. One part of the agenda of LGBT, among others, appears to be the infiltratration of all levels of government by training and helping gay candidates get elected. It is my understanding that this outfit also advocates gender and cross gender equality as an educational process in elementary schools. I believe from everything I have learned that Marie Mayor’s present candidacy is geared troward that goal. She will deny it and her supporters will deny it, however I believe the contrary. That is a decision you voters will have to make on election day.

Folks, It’s one thing to be gay which is certainly someone’s right if that is the life style they choose to embrace. I have many gay friends. I also believe that all people should have equel rights without fear of discrimination which I have firmly supported time and time again. However, when it comes to class room indoctrination in elementry schools–there is reason for concern–don’t you think?????.

The only significant inacuracy that I can discern from my original e-mail after some criticism is that Marie Mayor operated in Prince Georges County, MD (College Park) instead of Montgomery County, MD. After even more research and receiving much more information, I believe Marie Mayor has a hidden agenda and should not be in office regardless of political party. That is my opinion based on the concern I have about the method of operation of the LGBT.The agenda of this organization after examining it closely (in plain words) appears to be the infiltratration of all levels of government–its very clever, but also insidious from certain perspectives. Check it out in the links below. Frankly, I find the LGBT to be rather scary, much more than the social conservatives they enjoy attacking.

All this being said, I support Republican Steve Smyk who is a former Delaware State Trooper, A Veteran, a leader of the DSTA, and a fine family man with strong family values. Steve Smyk has true leadership qualities, understands Delaware’s economic problems and has inumerable ideas on how to create jobs. He has no hidden agenda and only wants to serve the people of Sussex County and the people of the great State of Delaware. Folks, if you live in the new 20th Representative District, I urge you to pull the lever for STEVE SMYK on Tuesday, November 6th.

Respectfully Submitted,

JUDSON Bennett-Coastal Network

Bullshit, Judson. You are a bigot. And there are a lot of bigots down in Sussex County, so this kind of email might work on them, which is why I predict Smyk will win. Now, I am told that such despicable tactics, such as Jud Bennet’s, are only employed when the side employing them believes they are losing. Perhaps. Perhaps Marie is winning right now and perhaps she will win on Tuesday despite this, but I have absolutely no faith in the decency or tolerance of the Sussex County voter. Hence my prediction.

Finally, and in another point of disagreement with El Som, I see Shirley Price winning in the 38th. Most of my belief here is based on anecdotal evidence, and based on one internal poll disclosed to me that had Shirley winning with 51% to Ron Gray’s 19%, with 31% undecided. Shirley has the name recognition in the district, having represented it 10 years ago. She is also a successful and prominent real estate agent, well known in the district. All Ron Gray has is Gerald Hocker’s machine and backing. As the poll showed, he is a virtual unknown. Will Hocker be enough to pull Gray over the finish line? My guess is no, hence my prediction. Another clue is that, like Jud Bennett above, the allies of Gray and Hocker have gone negative in ads in the Coastal Point. So they think they are losing. Hence, my prediction of Shirley winning.

So, my final prediction for the House is that the Democrats will win 29 seats, and the Republicans 12. That is a pick up of 3 seats for the Dems.

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  1. Mike says:

    interesting about Jud here in the 20th. I went to a candidate forum and was very impressewd by Marie Mayor. Also have great respect for folks who are endorsing her. Smyk seemed nice enough (though you’ll always know he was a cop). But Smyk also said things that felt very much like anti-gay code. Talked about defending “Sussex County’s Traditions” (without *saying* values). It would be a pretty serious loss to us as a state if Marie Mayor loses.

  2. Delaware Dem says:

    I agree Mike. Which is why I find Jud so offensive. But perhaps his email is proof that Marie is winning and the bigots, Jud Bennett included, are freaking out.

    And by the way, if you are gay and you are friends with scum like Jud Bennett, it is time you rethink that friendship.

  3. Great stuff, DD.

    If Bennett is doing this, and if Mayor is/was winning, then she’s gonna win. People have had the chance to take the measure of her going back to the primary, and they will see this for what it is: Shit being thrown out there just days before the election.

    Sure hope you’re right about Shirley. If Gray really IS running that bad a campaign, then maybe it’s possible.

  4. Justwondering says:

    Wow. That’s really sad. If I weren’t already planning to vote for Mayor, I would do so now only because of that letter from Bennett.

  5. The Straight Scoop says:

    I would move the 29th and 37th to the “Actual Races” category. If either of Paradee or McGinn don’t win, it will be closer than some other races.

    FYI — Outten is miscolored blue. They might be conservative Democrats in central Kent and Sussex, but not THAT conservative.

    Republicans in Sussex have to be nervous. The one thing they’ve been able to boast is that their brand of the party has been successful. If they lose the 20th and 38th, they would only have a 5-4 advantage in the House. That won’t bode well.

  6. WWB says:

    I keep hearing that Mayor’s organization will tip the race in her favor. I don’t know Jud Bennett personally, but I know several people who know him, and his email just might have the effect of producing more votes for Mayor. Even people who know him know he’s full of it.

    I do have one concern about Mayor, though. I have written her a couple of emails asking what her position on the death penalty is. Over the years that I was in Gary Simpson’s senate district he was the one Republican who got my vote because he was responsive on issues in general, and he was interested in doing away with the death penalty. If Mayor would like to fry everyone on death row tomorrow I still don’t know if I could vote for Smyk, but it sure would have been nice if someone could have gotten back to me on this topic.

  7. Jason330 says:

    You know, I’ve been giving John Sigler a bunch of shit this cycle, but when you look at this piss poor slate – you have to figure that this is naturally what happens when the entire focus of the party in on trying to keep old people in an angry haze.

  8. duty says:

    FYI – Outten should be in red.

  9. Delaware Dem says:

    Sorry about that. Fixed it.

  10. TomNSussex says:

    More people in the 20RD read the Gape Gazette that Jud Bennett’s e-mail. Given that fact, Marie Mayor responded to the Gazette’s candidate questionnaire with thoughtful answers. Steve Smyk did not respond to the questionnaire. That is a very serious failure on Smyk’s campaign. It surrendered a district-wide, influential platform to Marie Mayor that reaches voters as they were just tuning into the races other than Obama-Romney; it projected an image of third-party candidate rather than a serious campaign. Marie Mayor will win on the basis of a superior organization, or Steve Smyk will lose on the basis of a lack of an organization.

  11. SussexDem40 says:

    I agree. Rich Collins didn’t answer the Cape Gazette’s candidate questionairre either. I just don’t get that, especially for Smyk. Who is running these campaigns?

  12. Wagonwheel says:

    Marie Mayor is a great candidate whose only agenda as far as I’m concerned is to be an excellent legislator responsive to here constituents. She has been to my door, and has run a campaign which is just the best! Jud Bennett, whom I know personally, has greatly disappointed me with his bigoted stance against Marie.

    Not mentioned here is Joan Deaver, who represents me in the Sussex County Council, and is running for reelection. Joan is an outstanding person who has dedicated herself 100% to her constituents and the issues we care deeply about. I just had to mention Joan, because she is a model legislature who fights tirelessly for the issues she believes in. I just felt that something had to be said about this marvelous person.

  13. anonymous says:

    Marie Mayor will defeat Smyk because she’s an intelligent, measured candidate while Steve Smyk is a gung-ho and very intense former cop. After a 3 minute conversation with Smyk you walk away thinking that he’s the cop that would break down your door and shoot your dog before bothering to check that he was at the right the address first. Mayor by 3%.

  14. John Manifold says:

    Looks like Smyk doesn’t have the self-confidence to answer a questionnaire:

  15. xstryker says:

    This is what I see when I look at Mayor and Smyk’s photos in the link above:
    Mayor: Vote for me! I baked you some cookies.

  16. John Sigler and John Fluharty are the reason the GOP doesn’t have more candidates on their slate. They screwed around and lost libertarians, like myself, because they are inept at their job. They squandered a chance and are left with no candidates in some races.