Editor’s note: Earlier this week, Senator Greg Lavelle announced he wouldn’t be running for governor in 2016, which was news to the Republican Party. Senator Lavelle’s statement appears below:
Dear Friends and Supporters:
Thank you again for your support, encouragement, and votes over the years.
After winning the 2012 election by 3.3%, in what was one of the most competitive – and the most expensive – legislative races in Delaware’s history, it was heartening to receive the overwhelming support of voters in the 4th Senate District in 2014. That margin of victory, just under 24%, was the result of a lot of hard work over the last two years, since much of the 4th Senate District was not that familiar with me prior to the 2012 election. I could not have done this without the support of my family; Don Puglisi, for whom I work; and Senate staff, whose help with constituent services is nothing short of exceptional.
Of course, every election is different and resting on one’s laurels is something I learned early on never to do. I will continue to work hard to address the issues facing Delaware.
I was blessed to be born, raised, and educated in Delaware. It is my love for this state, and my desire to see it provide economic and other opportunities for all, that drive my efforts. We can and must do better. Rest assured that I’m willing, ready, and able to work with any and all to do just that. I believe that this starts with accountability in government. Putting resources – and that means tax dollars – into programs and initiatives should be driven by the desire to increase opportunity and improve lives, and it should also include methods to measure results and ensure accountability.
The old refrain, “this is the way we have always done it,” comes up far too often in Dover. It is not 2000, let alone 1990 or 1980, and we need to look at our budgeting practices, tax structures, labor laws, and regulatory practices to ensure accountability and strengthen our economy. We need reasonable and rationale energy policies, regulations, and labor laws that will incent manufacturers and other industries to stay and to locate in Delaware. While it may not be the way we have always done it, these changes must be considered, refined, and implemented.
The Education Industrial Complex, encouraged and supported by too much Federal Government interference, endlessly diverts money into consultants and others instead of the classroom. I support strong standards and testing and would hope that the legions of Delaware administrators and others at the Department of Education, assisted by teachers, could develop them. That said, the current practice of changing the “program” every few years will almost ensure that no accountability ever occurs. Time will always be needed to implement, implement, and implement yet again. A financing and financial reporting system that allows cross district comparisons on a variety of metrics also appears to be lacking.
Delaware needs to be sure that it is responsibly funding and maintaining infrastructure – from roads to schools and other government buildings. Making sure that the money is spent where intended, and for the most bang-for-the-buck for taxpayers, should be front and center. The fact that the Transportation Trust Fund has been raided numerous times, over numerous administrations, makes clear that systemic reform is needed. Additionally, reasonable and rationale prevailing wage reforms should also be implemented. I believe that this will benefit both taxpayers and labor.
These and other policy challenges and proposed solutions should encourage and support families across Delaware. Stable families, strong communities, and economic opportunity will go a long way toward addressing many of the social and related ills that we face today.
It is not realistic to think that all the decisions that we make as a government, individual, family, or business will always be right the first time, but we must be willing to learn from them and let those lessons help guide us in the future. All too often, there is reluctance to do this in Dover.
With these challenges and the philosophies to address them in mind, and with the encouragement of many people, I have given a lot of thought to running for Governor in 2016. Many believe, as I do, that Delaware is at or near a crossroads for its future. The time, money, and most of all, the personal commitment needed for such a race is tremendous.
Considering all that I have noted here and more, and standing by my view that family must always come first, I have decided that now is not the time for me to take on this challenge. At this time, the personal bandwidth just doesn’t exist to create and sustain the time needed to run for Governor, while maintaining and addressing my current and varied responsibilities.
As with all of us, there are many ways to contribute toward a better future for Delaware, and your support allows me to serve in a unique position to do just that. The encouragement that I have received from people across the political spectrum, whom I respect and admire, and from many that I don’t even know, has been humbling and appreciated.
Most of all, my thanks for the support and love of my family is beyond words. As many can probably relate in their own lives, I joked at my December swearing-in that those in Dover and elsewhere always get to see Gregarious Greg (I didn’t ask for a vote!), while sometimes at the end of a long legislative or political day, Ruth, Kylie, and Matthew are sometimes visited by Grouchy Greg. For this, I can’t properly thank them or express my love for them enough.
Thank you again for all your support, past, present and future. As a result of that support, I will continue to be able to work to address the challenges and opportunities facing Delaware now and in the future.