Mo’ Better Dems: Andria Bennett, RD 32

Filed in Delaware, Featured by on August 3, 2017

You knew this one was coming.  Failure to field a progressive challenger in  this district would be political malpractice.

The District.  Perhaps no RD was made safer for D’s during the 2012 redistricting than the 32nd .  It went from a swing-D district to a totally safe district.

32nd_Rep_EDsThe registration numbers are as follows: 6914 D; 3281 R; 3685 I.  Hillary Clinton defeated Donald Trump in the district by a 4231 to 2715 margin. Which is virtually the same margin by which Bennett defeated R challenger Patricia Foltz in 2016.

The district encompasses basically the easternmost portions of Dover along with Little Creek (pronounced Little Crick) thrown in. Just click on the map to enlarge it.

The Incumbent: Other than the D after her name, Andria Bennett has very little going for her as an incumbent. She represents the Chamber of Commerce instead of her constituents. She has consistently voted to kill minimum wage legislation in Bryon Short’s Legislative Lapdog Committee.  She singlehandedly ensured that income tax increases for Delaware’s wealthiest would not even be considered as part of the 2017 revenue package. Meaning, she ensured that $30 million would be cut from education funding and ensured that seniors in her district would experience service cuts as well. Not to mention a whole raft of other cuts. That’s what her vote against the Personal Income Tax legislation meant.  She has few ties to the district, other than the fact that she married the incumbent state rep after having an affair with him. She became the state rep after he had to resign due to his second DUI arrest. Her roots are in New Castle, where her father, Rep. John Viola, resides.  (Don’t worry, he’s the subject of an upcoming Mo’ Better Dems.) Oh, and the ‘Bennett’ name (you do know that former Rep. Brad Bennett’s dad was longtime Dover Rep. Ed Bennett, don’t you? That name is what he rode to victory.) has been more than a little tarnished over the past few years.

The Outlook: I don’t think that Andria Bennett can survive a Democratic primary. In fact, her electoral position is so precarious that she might not even run.  The question becomes: Do we let Pete handpick her successor, or do we find someone dedicated to supporting traditional Democratic principles to run?  Make no mistake: Pete’s probably more than a little PO’d at Bennett’s vote.  You can bet that any candidate that he backs is one who will back him. In every way.  Why not, instead, find someone to support a decent wage, protect services to the most vulnerable, fight for public education, and challenge the anti-democratic Democratic House leadership team?

That’s the gauntlet I’m throwing down.  Either we find someone to represent Democratic (big D and small d) principles, or resign ourselves to another lackey who Speaker Pete can control.



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  1. social studies says:

    Either we find someone to represent Democratic (big D and small d) principles, or resign ourselves to another lackey who Speaker Pete can control.

    This makes no sense. Bennett is under attack from her own party because Schwartskof could not control her vote on June 30th. Time to face the facts John Carney came back from Washington DC full of ideas that he got from congressional republicans like raping natural resources for corporate profits, eliminating itemized deductions, defunding public schools and the DOE, increasing taxes on the lowest income earners, and giveaways to the rich. Delaware house democrats are the mirror image of Washington house republicans with the exception of Kowako and Williams.

  2. She’s been under attack here on this blog long before June 30. She, not once, but twice, voted to bury an embarrassingly modest minimum wage bill in committee. On both occasions, she quoted directly from publicly-available Chamber of Commerce talking points.

    Legislators like Baumbach, JJ Johnson, Matthews, Lynn, and Bentz are every bit as worthy as Kowalko and Kim Williams. So there is a nice progressive bloc, but it’s just not big enough yet.

    BTW, only ONE D legislator voted against higher rates for Delaware’s highest earners: Andria Bennett. She, more than any other D legislator, owns those education cuts and all of the serious cuts that will draw blood.

    The LAST thing I want is for Schwartzkopf to control her successor. Only way to do that
    is to successfully rally around a progressive challenger. Which is what this Mo’ Better Dems series is all about.

  3. Faithful skeptic says:

    So c’mon boys, start naming names. Or are you all from New Castle and don’t know anyone in Kent County?

  4. alby says:

    Why would that be unusual? Kent is the least-populated and most insular county in the state.

  5. Faithful skeptic says:

    Alby, amazingly enough, a representative from a less-populated and insular county has — an equal vote to a representative from the glorious NCC. Consider for a moment how far a primary against an NCC “bad hombre” would cost versus one against one in Kent. A lot more, eh? So yeah, such a primary isn’t a bad idea.

    BUT you still have to find a candidate who can win. Let’s dispense with all the blarney about Pete this and Pete that, instead spend a little bit of time on the benighted ground of insular Kent County and find a good candidate.

    Otherwise you’re wasting pixels.

  6. alby says:

    I was pointing out that there’s nothing unusual about people who live outside Kent County not to knowing anybody in it. That you would take it as an insult proves you do indeed live downstate, where people wear their inferiority on their sleeves.

    “Let’s dispense with all the blarney about Pete this and Pete that, instead spend a little bit of time on the benighted ground of insular Kent County and find a good candidate.”

    Why bother? Pearls before swine.

  7. Faithful skeptic says:

    Well, El Som, you’re not going to get much help finding a Bennett opponent from this blog, are you?

  8. Jason330 says:

    I’m thinking of a certain DSEA member.

  9. Far be it from me to play Captain Obvious here (he lied), but this article has had lots of views. Lots. While I’m fine with people floating names here, the purpose of these ‘Mo’ Better Dems’ pieces is to get would-be candidates and grassroots D’s to look seriously at these districts and decide to prioritize these districts and maybe jump in themselves.

    The idea is that too many so-called Democrats either represent their own self-interest and/or the agenda of the Chamber of Commerce. A few ‘mo’ better D’s’ would be a boon for traditional Democratic constituencies.

    In fact, Bennett’s district will be in play regardless of whether a more populist D emerges. Pete may already have the long knives out himself. We cannot win it we do not play.

  10. alby says:

    So let me get this straight: Skeptic lives in Kent County, most of us don’t, but we’re at fault for not knowing someone who’ll run against the incumbent.

    I’m pretty sure that’s just trolling.