Deneice Berry To Run For 5th RD

Filed in Delaware, Featured by on January 27, 2018

Aka Melanie George Smith’s seat. Berry is but the first candidate to announce. There will be at least one more.  She is a first-time candidate, and frankly it shows in her announcement release:


Combined with my career, education, community outreach, and activism will help move the 5th District forward with a New Vision, New Voice, and New Leadership. Together we can make a difference.

Bear, DE – Y. Deneice Berry, has announced her candidacy to run in the upcoming election for State Representative. “I am honored and humbled to announce my candidacy for State Representative of the 5th District.”

“My actions and words will always align with my values to lead by listening and making the right choices for the constituents of the 5th District,” Berry said. “I will spend the next several months going out talking to the residents to hear their issues and concerns. I am excited about advocating for change in the state of Delaware.”

Growing up in a single family household in the inner city of Philadelphia, I witnessed the devastating effects from a lack of quality education, access to healthcare, and judiciary inequality had on my community. I saw first-hand the struggles and sacrifices my mother made to ensure a good quality life for our family. It was those life experiences that sparked my desire to serve and advocate for those in need. It was those strong family values that have shaped me into the woman I am today.

My husband, Kevin L. Berry of 17 years and I both came from larger cities to the 5th District not only seeking a higher standard of life, but also to see what we both can give back to the community we now call home.  Although, I have lived in Bear, Delaware for the past 12 years, I realized the need for criminal justice reform, equitable education, and accessible and quality health care is not just a big city problem, rather they are issues that also need to be prioritized and addressed in Delaware’s 5th District.

During my time in Delaware, I became a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for children in family court. I spent years advocating for the well-being of children who had no voice by listening, assessing their needs, and representing their best interest fairly in family court. I also served as the chair of the Democratic Party for the 5th district where I worked closely with the party to promote positive change in the community. I will continue to do the same for you in Dover as your state representative.

As a first generation graduate of Wilmington University’s Innovation and Leadership in Higher Education Doctoral program, I became knowledgeable in public policy and acquired the skills needed to address the education concerns within the community. My career at Delaware Technical Community College aligns with my core values for non-traditional, first generation, and veteran students to be given equal access and second chances for a quality education.

Having said that, she has a compelling story, although I sorta wish she was currently working anywhere but Del-Tech, where she’s worked as an ‘Academic Counselor and Career Services’ for the past four-plus years. She has a BS, Masters, and Ed.D from Wilmington University, and I am told by people I respect that she holds progressive views. Here is her Facebook page.

And here’s why I welcome her candidacy. She was gonna take on Melanie George Smith.  I don’t think it’s coincidence that Melanie ‘retired’ when she did.  When you’ve been gifted a district, a bleeping disgrace in and of itself, and have virtually never had to run in sixteen years (Has she ever had an opponent? Guess I’ll have to check…), the thought of running is beneath one’s exalted station.  Sometimes, all it takes is one person with some guts to stand up and run. Yes, we can see that Deneice Berry is a political neophyte.  But I view that as a positive.  This will be a fun race for prospective volunteers as Melanie’s shadow is not looming large over the field. It’s wide open.  I welcome Deneice Berry to the race.

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Comments (5)

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  1. OK, I went back and checked. The ONLY challenge, if you can call it that, to Melanie was back in 2002. A ‘William McMurray’ primaried her in her first run. He got 30 votes.

    I remember this guy. He once showed up at a candidate training forum wearing a raincoat. He was gonna run against, I think Dori Connor at the time. Why do I mention the raincoat? Because he didn’t take it off for the entire workshop. In hindsight (not that we sighted his hind-er), that was probably for the best.

    Other than that, she had a free ride for 16 years.

    Which is why it’s important to step up and run.

  2. Mitch Crane says:

    Prospective candidates:

    1. Get a proof reader, preferably one with a knowledge of English grammar.
    2. Have your own issues before you go out and hear what voters are concerned about.
    3. Understand the meaning of “buzz words”. “Family Values” may mean something to you, but it is a red flag to many others.
    4. A good resume’ is important, but more important is what you ACCOMPLISHED.

  3. Mitch knows whereof he speaks. I’ll add a couple more:

    1. Be prepared to answer the following in 30 seconds or less. ‘I am running because_______.

    2. Learn from your mistakes. For first-timers, this is especially important.

  4. Mitch Crane says:

    I will add :

    3. Demonstrate that you care about your constituents.
    4. Tell them what you will do for them.
    5. Leave them with the belief you will be responsive AFTER you are elected.
    6. Be polite to those who disagree with you. Do not argue with them.
    7. Have principles and adhere to them. People who understand what you believe in will respect you for them, most of the time.
    8. Send thank you cards, personally written, within one week or receiving each contribution, no matter how small.

  5. SussexWatcher says:

    9. Spell “candidacy” right, especially in the headline of your frigging announcement.