Delaware Elections 2020: Race-By-Race-Part 2

Filed in Delaware, Featured by on January 3, 2019 26 Comments

OK, I’m not gonna run through all 41 house races. I’m not that sadistic, and I would hope that you’re not that masochistic. I’ll just cover the ones that interest me as of this moment:

RD 2: Will self-dealer Stephanie Bolden retire, or will she for once face a decent challenger?

RD 3: Likely of interest only if Bethany Hall-Long doesn’t run for reelection for Lt. Governor. Remember who finished second in that race? No, it wasn’t Park City Kathy, it was Sherry Dorsey Walker.

RD 4: Listed only b/c Gerald Brady is such a mess.

RD 7: Ray Seigfried won a splintered D primary with only 28.71% of the vote. Two more progressive candidates split the lion’s share of the remaining vote.  If Ray moves a bit to the left of where he stood in the primary, he’ll likely be OK. Otherwise, a primary would certainly be warranted.

RD 10: Of interest only if Sean Matthews runs for State Senate. My choice for his successor should Sean challenge Cathy Cloutier? Anybody but Dennis Williams. BTW, I went back to 2016 and checked. Sean Matthews beat Dennis E. by better than a 3-1 margin. The people who know him best don’t want anything to do with the guy.

RD 13: I include this only b/c Larry Mitchell was made part of the leadership team this year. That often is a precursor to a retirement. Or…say, is he in DelCollo’s senate district?

RD 21:  Slimy Mike Ramone needs to go.  Hopefully, Stephanie Barry runs again. Clearly a major target for the D’s.

RD 22: A rerun in 2020?  Gigi Gonzalez is in good position to flip the 2018  result against Michael Smith.  I will be following Smith’s legislative actions closely. The question is: How far away from the Rethugs can he get w/o pissing off his own party? He’s kind-of straitjacketed. How he navigates the little wiggle room that he has will likely determine whether he’s one and done or not.

RD 26: Melissa Minor-Brown set the standard when she announced a primary challenge to Mike Mulrooney and made clear that she was a serious candidate.  John Viola is a lightweight who worked with Tony DeLuca at the Department of Labor. He MUST BE PRIMARIED. I believe that he will slink into retirement on his own rather than face a serious challenger. Mo’ Better Democrats. Make it happen.

RD 28: Of (marginal) interest only if Lumpy Carson seeks retiring Bruce Ennis’ senate seat.

NCC Executive: I don’t see a serious challenger to Matt Meyer, who has really grown in the job, IMHO.  Unless something opens up that intrigues Meyer, the only question is whether the R’s will bother to field a challenger.  Which reminds me: Is there still an NCC Republican Party structure with, you know, real people running it?

President of NCC Council: Will there even be an elected President of New Castle County by 2020? I think there should be, but there’s no guarantee that there will be.  The only concern is that the current incompetent and unstable County Council President could survive in a splintered primary. She’s such damaged goods, however, that I don’t think that would happen. The race could attract a rogue’s gallery of wannabes though.

Not gonna bother with all the NCC row offices or councilmanic races. Except for this one:

Council District 12: If the area of NCC below the Canal is underserved, it stands to reason that the council members just aren’t providing sufficient service.  The voters wised up and elected David Carter in 2018. Bill Bell is poised to follow William Powers into involuntary retirement. Who will emerge to provide that immediate upgrade to County Council?

Mayor Of Wilmington: Will we learn from history? Only a distinct minority of voters preferred Mike Purzycki for mayor in the Democratic primary.  However, there were too many black candidates, and Purzycki barely edged out Eugene Young in that splintered primary.  If history doesn’t repeat itself, Mayor Mike will only serve one term.  Purzycki stands only for downtown development, nothing more.  Of course, what Purzycki does stand for ensures the increasing gentrification of the city.  He’s essentially Ed Rendell without the savvy. This is a race where I hope that the nascent grassroots movements can coalesce around one challenger.

Wilmington City Council: My vote for the most dysfunctional elected political body in Delaware.  I don’t know enough to know who all the self-dealers are and who are the stalwarts who genuinely care about the city and the districts that they represent.  I already know that Sam Guy doesn’t care about anybody but himself, and I know that Hanifa Shabazz consistently gives off an odor of amorality.  Again, I hope that the grassroots can identify and help elect people committed to public service.  As it stands, City Council needs an enema, and some of the council members serve as enemas of the people. Did I get that right?

Wilmington City Treasurer: It simply can’t be asking too much for someone who (a) has a respected fiscal background and (b) isn’t named Potter to run for Treasurer, can it?

That’s the lay of the land as I see it.  What do you think?

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  1. Peter Briccotto says:

    Stop using Williams name! I feel like every third time we say it, he pops up to run again!

    • He does anyway. He HAS to run for something. Been doing it for over 20 years. He even ran against Mike Castle back in the day. Why? Hey, I don’t have a degree in Abnormal Psychology, so I don’t know.

  2. Jason330 says:

    Bell’s district stretches from the oil refineries all the way down to (I think) just above Odessa. It might attract someone like Monique Johns, which would suck. Or Dave Carter might be bringing someone along. Which would be great.

    I know BHL hated the idea of Carter winning. Maybe we can keep that hate simmering?

    • Anybody who thinks BHL is a progressive alternative to John Carney doesn’t know her. Her family roots are in Sussex County, and she has only modified her views to the extent that it protects her electoral butt.

  3. Delawaredude says:

    I’m almost 100 percent certain Bell is getting a primary from at least one person I know. Could be a few more names floating out there. He has annoyed to many people, wouldn’t be surprised if he calls it quits. Hes getting up there in age too.

  4. Kelly says:

    I feel that the best person to be city council president is Rob Williams. He is to me the most qualified and he is the real watchmen.

    I think Kevin Kelly would make a great City Treasurer. He has a financial background and he should of ran for it last election. I think Velda Potter is going to run for Mayor. If she wins God Help is all. The city will go broke the way her and her husband always have there hand in the political cookie jar.

  5. Annooynous says:

    The 9th RD will find a way to screw up the bell primary the same way they can’t seem to get it together to take out Hensley. Monique running again be a joke but don’t put it past her.

  6. Kelly says:

    I think Mayor Mike deserves a second term. I know people say he is tied in with BPG, but crime is down and he is cleaning up the city. I think he has done more then the 3 past Mayors we have had. What did they do that was so great? Sills was a racist, Baker was king of the programs and Williams interfered to much in the police dept.

    • RE Vanella says:


    • “…people SAY he is tied in with BPG…”?

      That’s like saying ‘people say that climate change is real.’

      He’s been tied in with Buccini-Pollin since his Riverfront Development days. His sidekick at the time, Michael Hare, is a bigwig in Buccini-Pollin now.

      He is Buccini-Pollin’s mayor. And the mayor for Buccini-Pollin’s tenants. Any other contributions he makes to the city are solely coincidental.

  7. BTW, I wrote the following in the piece above:

    “I don’t know enough to know who all the self-dealers are and who are the stalwarts who genuinely care about the city and the districts that they represent.”

    I met a true stalwart last night. Her name is RYSHEEMA DIXON, and I can’t recall being this impressed with any Council member. She understands how issues are linked, and thinks far beyond the usual narrow focus of most politicians. She has the empathy of a Kerri Evelyn Harris. She was elected At-Large, so she’s run citywide. There’s no way someone this accomplished is gonna relegate herself to City Council. Nor should she.

    Here’s a bit more about Dixon:

    Keep an eye on her. If there’s any justice, she’s going places.

  8. Annoymous says:

    Not to be Debbie Downer bit if a progressive wants to beat Carney they need to start running and RAISING MONEY now. This is the problem for progressives, they usually are broke campaign wise. Luckily I feel some are finally waking up to this which beats some 19 year old kid telling me we will “win on ideas”. Need the cash to get the ideas to the people. I hope we figure this out or Kerri and others will keep running feel good campaigns that dont translate into wins.

    • The good news is that progressives aren’t starting at Ground Zero this time. Yes, money is an issue, and I know that it’s an issue that is understood, and is being worked on, in the progressive community. You’ve now also got battle-hardened volunteers and campaign leaders who won’t need the long learning curves.

      Besides, there were some serious progressive wins right here in Delaware in 2018. Nnamdi, Laura Sturgeon, Tizzy Lockman, Melissa Minor-Brown, Dave Carter and Dee Durham come to mind. That’s a pretty damned good framework upon which to build.

      • Anoymous says:

        100 percent agree progressives got some nice local wins and are in better shape then 4 years ago but we still have yet to get a big one aka statewide. Johnson finished 3rd our of 4, Keri lost every county and the city of Wilmington. Davies lost a primary to basically a Repulican. LBR is a back bencher moderate who no body wants to challenge. It takes time to build a network statewide tho and I get that

  9. puck says:

    Delaware voters won’t play in a contest of ideas. They will however respond to a Beto-type candidate who appears to have real energy in contrast to the moribund Carney.

  10. BTW, word on the street is that Stephanie Bolden is likely to retire after this term.

    Definite chance for an upgrade if true.

  11. Pretty much every day, I check to see what posts people have clicked on. It often gives me a heads-up as to what might become news.

    Today I saw an inordinate number of clicks on posts pertaining to Karen Weldin Stewart. Please tell me she’s not planning to run for something.

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