Sussex Dem’s Shakeup Shocks Good Old Boys

Filed in National by on March 30, 2017

I didn’t know what to make of the change in leadership in the Sussex County Democratic Party, until I read this update by Claire Snyder-Hall.

“The Sussex County Democrats had their Caucus on March 27th, and they overwhelmingly elected Jane Hovington as their new chair, reportedly shocking establishment Dems.

Jane had the support of progressives, because she opposes the death penalty, takes criminal justice reform seriously, and has a long history as a leader in the NAACP, among other things. And as an added bonus, she is the first African American woman to hold the position.

I know getting Jane and her team elected took a lot of hard work, so I send heartfelt congratulations to everyone who supported the transition to new leadership, especially all the new people Jane’s candidacy mobilized. Here’s the official press release:”

Hovington and her team are replacing a crew that brought “Democrats” like John Adkins into the fold.

About the Author ()

Jason330 is a deep cover double agent working for the GOP. Don't tell anybody.

Comments (54)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. SussexAnon says:

    I dunno about replacing, she has been vice chair for quite a while. She’s always been there. And none to happy about the Adkins (or Atkins?) B.S.

  2. Gymrat says:

    Really? after 15 years in the barrel you upstate pundits can’t spell the name of your nemesis correctly, seriously????? check police reports maybe?. Since this site in one of its many purity purges dumped a guy with real knowledge of the county its been nothing but hate Pete and mail the rest in. Pathetic

  3. Jason339 says:

    Lol. You have a point. Whenever I’m about to forget about him him turns back up in the police blotter

  4. SussexWatcher says:

    This is a joke. Hovington may mouth the right words, but she’s also been in Sussex party and NAACP leadership for many years and owns the decisions – tactical and strategic – that have led to having only a single elected Democrat left in the county.

    Remember that when she ran for the state Senate in 2012, she lost by a 60-40 split even after a Republican civil war, sex abuse scandal and court fight. These were her candidate Q&A answers then – I’m not seeing anything remotely inspiring or progressive in this.

    For the chairmanship, she beat another failed legislative candidate whose only distinction is that she’s run and lost twice, whereas Hovington only failed once.

    She’s a 67(ish)-year-old veteran seat-warmer at a time when the party needs energy and enthusiasm. Look for incremental steps and very little vision.

  5. SussexWatcher says:

    Oh, and Greg Fuller is a vice-chair. Fucking idiot couldn’t even hold on to a do-nothing job Minner gifted him. This is a group of people in search of fancy titles to impress others with. 2018 will see Pete re-elected and nothing else done except more money wasted.

  6. DelawareLeft says:

    Just when you think the writers on this blog can’t get any dumber, they go and call Jane Hovington a progressive

  7. SussexWatcher says:

    I know there are new outrages, but please read this. It’s important.

    In 2012, when she was running for the state Senate, Hovington responded to a candidate survey saying that she:

    — supported a Constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman (and did not answer a question on civil unions)
    — opposed adding gender identity protections to state law
    — supported annual inspections of abortion clinics and requiring parental consent for minors to receive abortions (and did not answer a question about banning abortion under the health care exchange)
    — opposed raising corporate income taxes
    — opposed Planned Parenthood getting state funding
    — was undecided on single-payer

    Progressive? Sounds fucking right-wing to me. Or was this just the she’s-black-so-she-must-be-progressive assumption? Claire Snyder-Hall and DL should be ashamed for peddling this weak-ass shit.

    Yes, that was five years ago, but she was vice-chair of the Sussex Dems at that time and was RUNNING FOR THE STATE SENATE. If she has changed her mind, I’d like to know when and why and whether she was asked about these professed positions. If she’s still a nutjob, I’d like to know why the Dems voted her in.

    Details are from the Delaware Family Policy Council (i.e. the anti-gay conservative Christian nutbags in Kent & Sussex) voter survey.

  8. Claire says:

    Just to clarify, neither I nor Jason330 said Jane is progressive. I said Jane was supported by progressives.

    Jane, like many people, is progressive on some issues and not others. For example, she’s a strong opponent of the death penalty, an issue we are actually facing right now, as opposed to most of the ones mentioned in the candidate survey from 5 years ago.

    Jane’s opponent in the chair race was not opposed to the death penalty and was being installed by the former leadership that manipulated every string they could to sabotage Don Peterson’s candidacy and reelect a DINO.

  9. SussexWatcher says:

    Come on, Claire, that’s complete bullshit. She has more in common with Johnny A and Pence and Thurman Adams on these issues than she does with you and Pete and Mitch and Obama. She believes that you shouldn’t be able to get married and that Sarah McBride should be able to be fired. We call Republicans who are anti-gay bigots. Why should we not call Jane Hovington a bigot?

  10. Claire says:

    There are a lot of pressing issues in DE right now, with death penalty, criminal justice reform, and anti-racism top of the list.

    You don’t get to vote for the perfect candidate. You get to vote for someone who is actually running.

    Anyway, people can have whatever opinions they want, but the fact of the matter is, progressives supported Jane in this election.

  11. SussexWatcher says:

    Nice dodge-and-avoid swerve there.

  12. Mitch Crane says:

    I congratulate Jane on her win and I wish her much success.

    However, if the history of last Monday’s vote is based in the DL account, the record must be corrected.

    The Sussex Democratic committee members who are considered to be “progressive” are concentrated in the coastal districts. There are maybe 20 or so in the other districts.. Jane’s opponent, Paulette Rappa, received 100% of the votes from the 14th (Dewey-Rehoboth-unincorporated areas around Lewes); 80% of the vote from the 20th (Lewes-Milton) and 2/3rds from the 38th (Bethany-Fenwick). She also received most of the votes in her own 37th (Georgetown-Long Neck). Jane Hovington receieved the lion’s share of votes from western Sussex, which is much more conservative and whose committee people would be offended if they were called “progressives”

  13. RE Vanella says:

    @Claire. The reason you don’t get to vote for a perfect candidate is because you keep putting up with this. This is a problem of your own making. The tell is that the candidate isn’t evaluated on what she believes, but rather she’s evaluated on the unacceptable positions of her opponent. This sounds strangely familiar.

    This goes on and on over time and like a copy of a copy of a copy what you’ll eventually tolerate becomes blurrier and blurrier until some future candidate who is just marginally acceptable to a loosely allied group of “liberal” factions get’s trounced by a maniac or imbecile because that candidate says nothing and stands for nothing.

    The Blue Delaware contributor Pandora used to lament these situations. She’d complain that I was telling her she was doing it wrong. Well, I’ll make the same argument here. You are indeed doing it wrong.

    Take a stand on something. Stop equivocating and politicking. It’s time to fight not do whatever it is you think you’re doing.

  14. RE Vanella says:

    Thanks to DelawareLeft and SussexWatcher for calling this out. And also to Mitch for the details.

  15. Claire says:

    @Vanella I agree with your overall argument. The Left has to stop supporting the lesser of two evils. We need to primary DINOs.

    The problem with that position, however, is the cost of allowing the greater of two evils to get elected. Sometimes that cost is too high to pay. Hence the vicious circle.

    As far as the chair race goes, I was not eligible to vote, just an observer this time.

  16. jason330 says:

    The real time fact checking is the beauty of blogging.

    I’m trying to pay more attention to SC than I ever have, so there is going to be a learning curve. it is a weak defense, but it is a defense.

  17. Claire says:

    I would not assign the label “progressive” based on where a person lives, but rather on the politics they support. If you live in a “progressive” district and work for an anti-progressive candidate and against a progressive candidate, I can’t see how you are “progressive.” But people use their own definitions.

    I am also including among her supporters people who worked behind the scenes.

    In any event, it’s new leadership in Sussex and it was an upset victory.

  18. RE Vanella says:

    This idea that we’re all caught up in some “vicious cycle” is a defeatist/victim mentality. With all due respect that’s lame and uninspiring.

  19. Claire says:

    It’s a description of a phenomenon, not a mentality.

  20. RE Vanella says:

    OK. That’s fine. Semantics don’t really matter to me. Whatever it is it’s insidious and non-productive. It comes very close to sounding like an excuse. And my argument still stands. It’s a phenomenon of your own creation.

  21. Capesdelaware says:

    Just a correction . Majority of 38th went for Jane . Not big deal but I would call Jane a “progressive”. Not in the purist sense ala DELAWARE LIBERAL but still a progressive. Focus on winning and working together .

  22. Gymrat says:

    Jane is teachable and inclusive. The other lady is a tool of the prior chair who achieved his only real objective, a 4 year meal ticket in an office he could not win at the ballot box. Cheers

  23. Aurochs says:

    There is currently $275 from 8 pledges in the CrowdPAC fund for Carney’s primary challenger. That’s exactly where it stood over a month ago when I last saw it mentioned on this site.

    Claire is right– you don’t get to vote for your perfect candidate. That’s partly because such a thing doesn’t exist, and never will exist, unless that candidate is YOU. It’s also because your choices really are the people who are actually on the ballot. The best you can do is bring pressure on them through phone calls, protests, etc., and when that fails, encourage better people to run. But not everybody wants to be a politician– I don’t see very many people on DL lining up to run in 2018 or 2020, for instance. The people who DO want to hold office need support to make it happen. Filing those papers and starting a campaign is a significant financial and personal risk, and I’d want to know that people are behind me before I even thought about doing it. That was the point of the CrowdPAC campaign, but it doesn’t appear to be going anywhere very fast. And THAT is a phenomenon of YOUR OWN creation.

    I’m reminded of a conversation I had with Alby not too long ago, wherein he flatly stated his refusal to work with the sorts of people who hold party positions, or consider any sort of engagement with the party. At the same time, we know that the party is critical to supporting campaigns and determining policy priorities. So now here we are complaining about how the SC caucus went, because of Hovington’s policy priorities. Hmm. Again, disinterest in the party’s management until after the votes are tallied is something YOU’RE responsible for.

    And quite frankly, I find it ridiculous to say that candidates aren’t evaluated on what they believe. But the contrast of those beliefs with their opponent’s isn’t unimportant. Clinton wasn’t a perfect candidate, but even if she did nothing but held the line on what’s already been accomplished (and she would have done at least that), she’d have been much, much better than Trump.

  24. Jason330 says:

    “There is currently $275 from 8 pledges in the CrowdPAC fund for Carney’s primary challenger. That’s exactly where it stood over a month ago when I last saw it mentioned on this site.”

    I am duly chastised. We need to get on this because Carney is already knee-deep in the process of giving the Governorship to Ken Simpler.

  25. SussexWatcher says:

    “In any event, it’s new leadership in Sussex and it was an upset victory.”

    Upset? How? She had been the vice-chair for more than a decade. Rappa was a one-issue candidate who failed twice in trying to knock off RBK.

    It sounds like you’re suggesting that Hovington was the anti-Schwartzkopf candidate and Rappa the pro-Pete candidate. Is that what you’re trying to say, Claire? Because if the new county party chairwoman is against the only elected Democrat in the county who happens to be Speaker of the House, that’s got to be a problem for somebody at some fundamental level …

  26. anon says:

    Tell it like it is, Gymrat!

  27. Claire says:

    @SusssexWatcher – I am not trying to say Jane is opposed to Pete. I have no idea what her views are on Pete. I don’t speak for Jane. I am just conveying my own observations about the chair election. And by the way, Pete, as far as I know, did not vote in that race, to his credit.

    It was an upset victory because the prior establishment was pushing for a candidate who would continue their legacy, and they were reportedly stunned when they lost.

    Jane has a lot of people who supported her, among those who could vote (just committee people), and in the larger community, for a variety of reasons. Among those supporters were progressives (all the ones I know anyway). And among those progressives were the anti-Schwartzkopf people.

    In addition, a lot of strong Schwartzkopf supporters also supported Jane.

  28. Claire says:

    @Vanella – I am not sure I understand what you are saying. I thought you were saying that we don’t get better candidates because we keep voting for the lesser of two evils.

    My point was, yes that is true. The Left needs to stop doing that and support truly progressive candidates. However, that is a hard thing to do because sometimes the larger of two evils is very terrible and seems to be too high a price to pay.

    You don’t vote for Gore and get Bush. Is that price too high? You don’t vote for Hillary and get Trump. Is that price too high? You don’t vote for Hanson and lose the Senate. Is that price too high?

    Every voter has to come face to face with that dilemma. But the outcome of any election is the result of mass behavior, which no one is in control of. The outcome results from the compilation of vast numbers of individual choices.

    I don’t understand how describing that “vicious cycle” — where people keep voting for the lesser of two evils to ward off disaster and thus never support the truly good candidate — is an excuse, a victim’s mentality, or anyone’s fault.

  29. Capesdelaware says:

    Sorry ,forgot to add this to prior post. Jane Hovington – 88 , Paulette Rappa – 69 .

  30. Aurochs says:

    I don’t even know why you two are talking about a “vicious cycle” at all. The only primary choices I had last September were for US Rep, NCCo Executive, and IC. Everybody else was running unopposed. Mitchell, Blevins, and Carney. All guaranteed to move into the general election, where I have exactly two choices and I HAVE to pick the better one (i.e. the Dem).

    And guess what? We did kick out a really shitty IC and a really shitty county executive in that primary. But I didn’t get a chance to flip the bird to Carney or Mitchell or Blevins. The option simply wasn’t there.

    So all this talk about a vicious cycle is absolute nonsense to me. Let’s get better people on the ballot before we start bitching about how nobody votes for better people.

  31. SussexWatcher says:

    I think this is getting off the critical topic, which is that the Sussex Democrats elected as chair a woman who as a candidate for elected office said she opposed both gay marriage and support for Planned Parenthood. It’s unclear whether she was asked about those positions and whether she agrees with the Democratic platform before she was elected as chair.

    Are those not basic-level litmus tests for Democrats these days? Did the county committee members know about her beliefs?

    Republicans who hold those positions are called bigots and against women. The burden is now on the new chair to prove that she has evolved, to apologize for her past positions, and to clearly and publicly demonstrate that she is neither a bigot nor against women.

  32. Delaware Left says:

    @Claire How exactly are you going to primary DINOs when you elect a DINO party chair, and there aren’t any elected Dems anyway.

    Continuing to give Jane Hovington a leadership role guarantees another 4 years in which Pete is the most progressive elected in Sussex county. Her politics are reprehensible and she sure as hell has no clue how to win an election.

  33. Claire says:

    Well the first step is getting rid of the influence of the leader who actively blocked a progressive primary candidate by endorsing the incumbent and then barring the challenger from any access to party resources. Hopefully Jane won’t repeat that mistake. But I guess we will see.

  34. Gymrat says:

    So the Puppet Master in the IC’s office is preferable to also be the former chair and ongoing puppet master of the Sussex Dems as well?
    It is appropriate to challenge Jane to adopt more appropriate views. But if you think that having a lady with the strings of a total failure controlling her is peachy keen then her you deserve what you get,

  35. Aurochs says:

    Here’s my question: what are Rappa’s policy preferences?

    In any case, I feel this illustrates the need for progressives to start working on getting more people into the party, starting at the bottom. There are progressive opportunities in Sussex, particularly on economic matters (at least if my understanding of the general mood in rural/farming areas holds). Whether Hovington understands that or is willing to exploit it, I couldn’t tell you.

  36. Delaware Left says:

    @Claire if Don Peterson, or any candidate in his position in any state, was running under the pretense that he would receive party support while trying to unseat that party’s speaker of the house, than he’s dumber than previous imagined.

    If progressives are going to win anything in this state ever, we need to quit playing dumb

  37. Claire says:

    The party should not take a position in the primary. That is why we have primaries, so the people can decide who gets the nomination. The same issue came up with the Hillary-Bernie race.

    It is not at all unrealistic to expect party neutrality while party members decide who to nominate via voting in the primary. You may not agree with that goal, but it’s certainly not a “dumb” position to hold.

  38. Delaware Left says:

    Hilary and Bernie is a completely different situation. Every county party in the country is going to support elected incumbents, and particularly electeds in leadership.

    Hilary wasn’t an incumbent president, and the DNC meddling in that race is entirely a different situation.

    The party shouldn’t take a stance in an open primary, but to expect the part to not support incumbents in primaries is extreme naivete

    Again, quit playing “dumb”

  39. SussexAnon says:

    Most progressives in Sussex have moved on to issue oriented politics. They came into the party and weren’t finding much success in either moving policy or getting people elected so they are now working on issues such as legalization, death penalty, equality, environment, etc.

    Sussex is conservative, regardless of party affiliation. There is a lot of lamenting about the way things used to be. The happy times of victorious dixiecrats. And how progressives are the reason they are losing in Sussex. With their culture war b.s of gay this, abortion that, racial equality. Bah. Humbug. Yeah, it really is like that.

    And the state party is completely mystified by downstate goings on.

    It takes some magical conspiracy theory thinking to believe that Mitch took the job solely so he could get a job at the IC office. Sussex County chair weilds near ZERO power or influence anywhere in the county. It’s just an unpaid spokes model for a product that is hard to define and of questionable existence; a coherent democratic agenda.

    I invite any up stater to come down here for an election cycle and witness what goes on and see what we are up against. I don’t mean that in a mean snarky way. At all. It’s not about good candidates, because the ‘good’ (meaning electable) candidate is sometimes John Atkins.

  40. Claire says:

    It’s not a question of naivete. It’s a question of policy and leadership. It is within the realm of possibility that party leadership in DE could decide not to engage in incumbent protection but stay neutral in primaries. That is a change that needs to be made if we want to elect progressives. Party rules are not the natural order. They are made by people, by us.

  41. Alby says:

    @Aurochs: Read this thread again and you’ll understand the big reason I will never get involved in party politics.

    The other reason is that newspaper reporters are barred from political activity of any kind; I couldn’t even put a bumper sticker on my car. After years of wearing the referee’s stripes, I’m not willing to wear team colors.

  42. SA1203 says:

    “Practicing criticism is a matter of making facile gestures difficult.” It is in this spirit that I submit the following critiques of Sussex Dem’s new “progressive” chair. My aim is two-fold: One, I hope to clarify a number of misconceptions concerning the progressive character of Chairwoman Hovington’s politics. Two, it is hope that this procedure may lead to a rejection of some of the more vacuous claims advanced above.

    1. On the claim that Hovington is a progressive (at least on some issues) and has the support of progressives: At the risk of sounding gatekeeper-y, let me begin by reflecting on what exactly Claire and other posters mean by “progressive.” Unfortunately, it is not all that clear. Their definition seems to wander aimlessly from paragraph to paragraph. It one comment, it would appear that the poster is coding Chairwoman Hovington a progressive simply because she is in favor of criminal justice reform. This definition leaves much to be desired. In fact, by those standards, Charles Koch is a progressive due to his beliefs that our criminal justice system should be reformed. In my view, this reduces the definition of “progressive” to sheer caricature. In another comment, it would appear that “progressive” is simply anti-establishment. While it is good to be anti-establishment when the “establishment” is advancing a draconian agenda, it is not all that clear what good anti-establishment sensibilities serves when it means compromising your own political convictions in order to remove perceived “party insiders.” What is clear, however, is that transforming anti-establishmentism into a political end in and of itself instead of a MEANS to a different, progressive end, can allow for the smuggling in of anti-progressive values. That is essentially what happened on March 27th. I detail three specific anti-progressive values that were smuggled into the heart of the Sussex County Democratic Party through the vehicle of its new leadership team.

    1A: Chairwoman Hovington is not a friend of the LGBT community. In fact, when marriage equality was on the verge of passing in Delaware, Chairwoman Hovington organized a protest against it. I find this offensive to my progressive values.
    1B: Chairwoman Hovington is not a supporter of a woman’s right to choose. She is in favor of taking away Planned Parenthood’s funding. As a woman of reproductive age, I have seen first hand the struggles women my age go through when the local Planned Parenthood in their area closes. Their reproductive health begins to suffer. I have also scraped together money to help pay for friends abortions at Planned Parenthood. I shudder to think what they would have done if Planned Parenthood did not offer this vital, totally legal procedure. Cutting funding for PP does nothing to enhance women’s healthcare. In fact, it does the opposite: it threatens women’s dignity. I find Chairwoman Hovington’s lack of support for PP offensive to my progressive values.
    1C: When Chairwoman Hovington ran for the 19th Senate seat, she made (on the radio) highly questionable comments about her senate district’s Hispanic population. Her comments appeared to suggest that new Hispanic immigrants were disrupting the natural order of social relations in the community. I hope Chairwoman Hovington’s views concerning immigration have evolved since 2012. If they haven’t, I find her lack of support for diversity and immigrant’s rights offensive to my progressive values.

    2. On the claim that Chairwoman Hovington was supported by progressives: I find very little evidence to support this claim. On the contrary, I find evidence that supports the claim that Chairwoman Hovington declined to run as a committee person in her own RD due to the number of progressives who showed up on the night of its caucus. There is nothing in the county by-laws that prevents a county officer from running as a committee person at their local RD caucus. The question must be begged then, why did Chairwoman Hovington decline to run in her own RD on its caucus night? Did she recognize the progressive character of its members and therefore decline the oppurtunity to win their support? Rappa ran and she was also a county officer at the time of her RD caucus. Unlike, Chairwoman Hovington, she got elected as a committee person in her own RD. That’s right: Chairwoman Hovington declined the opportunity to gain the support of her own RD. Further, at the county caucus, her own RD voted overwhelming for a candidate that bothered to run at the local ED level first– Rappa.

    3. On the claim that “party insiders were shocked.” I agree that party insiders were shocked. However, I do not believe that it was because they were surprised that the candidate they supported lost. Unfortunately, progressives are used to losing, especially in Sussex. Instead, I believe “party insiders” were shocked that the county elected as its Chair a person who does not appear to share many of their progressive values.

    4. On criminal justice reform and the death penalty: As I detailed above, several posters submitted Chairwoman’s Hovington’s criminal justice reform beliefs as “proof” of her progressiveness. While I don’t consider this overwhelming evidence, since so much electronic ink has been spilled scrutinizing Hovington’s record on this issue, it’s worth spilling some more electronic ink examining Rappa’s views on this issue. I find overwhelming evidence to support the claim that Rappa is militantly in favor of criminal justice reform. She is on the steering committee of the Alliance for Racial Justice, an organization whose activist work has focused on reforming Delaware–and our country’s– racist incarceration practices. Part of this work demands taking a holistic approach to criminal justice reform. Rappa has done so by furthering the cause of racial equity in Sussex County schools. Specifically, Rappa has publicly opposed Carney’s choice to head the Education Department– a Sussex County superintendent– due to the racist practices enacted by this superintendent. So much for “party insider.” … On the death penalty: It is true that Rappa has been– at best—PUBLICLY ambiguous when it comes to the death penalty. And yes, I find the evasiveness on such an important matter offensive to my progressive values. However, it is also worth noting that many people’s views on complex moral issues eventually evolve in positive directions. For example, there is evidence that Barack Obama was pro-gay marriage as early as 1996 when he was a state senator. After it became clear that this stance might threaten his political future, he shifted his position to “undecided.” Is this shift a crass, immoral gesture executed for crass political reasons? Maybe. But did it serve a greater political good (ie getting him elected, re-elected)? I think it might have. Claire remarked that “we don’t get to pick the perfect candidates.” This is true, and I would also add: the imperfect candidates that we have to choose from don’t always get to pick the issues that are important to their constituents.

    5. On the claim that Rappa is just a “tool of the prior chair:” This highly sexist comment simply rehearses a mode of thinking that is in some way responsible for the political oppression of women for centuries–that is, it codes any woman running for a leadership position as simply the extension of a man. In doing so, it robs the former of political agency and shores up the already excessive political power of the latter. I won’t bother to dignify it with a response except to say: Rappa is the type of feminist who– when her feet hit the ground in the morning– the patriarchy says: Oh crap, she’s up!

  43. Alby says:

    Is this Rappa related to Danny Rappa of Elsmere, the crook who was a big wheel in NCCo Democratic circles back in the day?

  44. Gymrat says:

    She is indeed

  45. Alby says:

    In that case, I would have voted for Hovington. No apple could roll far enough away from the Rappa tree for my taste. The old man was both a crook and a thug.

  46. Gymrat says:

    She is straight up a tool for the ex chair and my assertion is based on actual back stabbing water carrying behavior carried out on the direct orders of the IC hanger on against a female elected official.
    So spare me your psycho babble crap. Tools come in all shapes and sizes and reveal themselves by their own actions,
    She is also a nasty sore loser just like her patron

  47. RE Vanella says:

    That’s the spirit. Showing a bit a life now.

  48. AA says:

    Jane is a complete joke. Jane is not for Sussex dems, she’s not even for Delaware Dems, she’s for Jane. Her Senate run a few years back was more than laughable, they passed around her bumper stickers and returns day as a joke it was THAT bad. I put money on it that absolutely nothing will get done under her. She’s anti LGBT, and will run old guard candidates which will lose each and every time. She likes the news coverage she’s getting, there’s nothing deeper than that.

  49. SA1203 says:

    Though I disagree with a number of Chairwoman Hovington’s political positions, I do not think her run in 2012 was laughable. On the contrary, I think it was brave of her to run. And, for what its worth, I do not think it’s nice to characterize the whole affair as laughable because it minimizes the courage she demonstrated by running in a highly conservative district.

  50. SussexWatcher says:

    Setting the record straight. Her 2012 campaign did not begin as a joke, which makes her 60-40 loss so remarkable. From the Cape Gazette, 2012:

    “House Majority Leader Pete Schwartzkopf, D-Rehoboth Beach, who introduced Hovington, said she was approached to run for a number of seats in Sussex County this election cycle. Hovington chose to run against incumbent Sen. Joe Booth, R-Georgetown. …

    “Senate District 19 was altered during redistricting to achieve a higher minority population. The district now centers itself around Georgetown, where Hovington said she has lived for 25 years.”


    Her candidacy was not an act of bravery, but a political calculation based on the district’s demographics. That was also Obama’s reelection year, when Dem turnout is typically higher. I know Sussex Democratic voters do skew conservative, but the registration on Election Day was equal – 10,403 Dems, 10,059 Repubs, and 5,521 other. (When she filed, the Dems even had a 315-voter edge.) So she had a couple things going for her.

    Hovington waited until seven days before the deadline to file, when it was clear no one else was going to do so. In other words, as a party leader, she ran because she couldn’t find anyone else to run. I’ll give her full credit for taking one for the team – it should be a job requirement that the RD chairs step up and run themselves when the local Rs are about to rununopposed – but should we not expect a party vice-chair to do a better job of recruitment in her own back yard?

    In other words, this was not the crusading campaign of a giant-skater, but a last-minute campaign brought on by circumstance with an actual shot at winning. Let’s not rewrite history.

    In the end, this is what we got:

    “Hovington and Pettyjohn agreed on several issues throughout the debate, such as the prohibitive cost of a county police force, the negative impact of state bureaucracy on economic development, the importance of agricultural preservation and their shared opposition to school district consolidation and gay marriage.”

  51. SussexWatcher says:

    * giant-killer, not giant-skater. Damn autocorrect.

  52. Mitch Crane says:

    Paulette Rappa is from New Jersey. Doesn’t know the aforementioned Rappa from New Castle County

    Gymrat lies and hides behind the blog name. If you are so sure of yourself, use your real name or say what you think to my face. The last time we spoke and you dribbled vile, you couldn’t even look me in the face

  53. Alby says:

    @Mitch: Thanks for the clarification. I would hate to have the spawn of Danny Rappa anywhere near politics.

  54. Gymrat says:

    The lady told me otherwise but hey:) I guess she can clarify