Five Key Takeaways from the Primary Election

US Sen. Tom Carper campaigning for a few more votes on primary election day Sept. 6, 2018

Carper Survives

What came first, the state of Delaware or Tom Carper?  The state’s senior US Senator has been winning elections since before most of us were born but that didn’t stop Air Force veteran and political rookie Kerri Evelyn Harris from challenging the former state treasurer, congressman, governor and twice elected US senator from, shall we say, the left flank. 

A Bernie Sanders disciple who enjoyed the endorsement of progressive it-girl Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Harris posted a respectable 35 percent in her maiden political voyage, not terrible for someone with no name recognition or money but short of expectation for MSNBC fans hoping to take down the durable Carper who tacked hard to the left himself through the primary campaign.

Mike Smith won the Republican primary for the House District 22 seat

Stars are Born?

Three D’s and two Republicans are living large on the statewide political radar after big wins that presage general election victories in November and potentially bigger things beyond that. 

R’s Mike Smith and Justin King cruised through GOP primaries, and each will head into the general with resources, robust campaign infrastructure and momentum.  Smith is a dynamic University of Delaware executive and economic development pro who knocked every door in his district at least twice in the primary.  He will face off against Guillermina Gonzalez in the Nov. 6 general election for the House of Representatives District 22 seat.

King is vying to replace outgoing D state senator Brian Bushweller in the 17th, a Dover-area district R’s are targeting as an essential and winnable seat in their efforts to take over control of the General Assembly’s upper chamber.

Tizzy Lockman wins the Democratic primary for the State Senate in her first bid for elected office

Three Democrat women came out of Thursday night with real mojo, two aiming for statewide office, the third a seat in the Senate. 

Two Kathleens had big evenings – Jennings taking the D primary for Attorney General, McGuiness slipping through to prevail in the Auditor contest – and each will be favored in the general. 

Community activist Elizabeth “Tizzy” Lockman took 56 percent of the vote in the battle to replace retiring District 3 State Senator Bob Marshall, and she’ll now cruise into that office with no R resistance.

Lockman has participated in a variety of initiatives aimed at improving public education in the state, including the Wilmington Education Advisory Committee and the Parent Advocacy Council for Education initiative at the Christina Cultural Arts Center. The Wilmington native received her Masters in Urban Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Delaware.

A Bad Night for Cops

Former police officers have been a fixture in the Delaware political firmament and for good reason: politically ambitious cops tend to have great networks, resources and a professional resume that gets instant respect from many voters.  But last night proved an exception. 

Four former men and women in blue lost: former City of Wilmington Chief Bobby Cummings came up short in the four-way primary to replace Senator Margaret Rose Henry, another city chief, Samuel Pratcher, lost in the primary for New Castle County Sheriff, former Dover police officer Timothy Mullaney arrived last in the four-way D primary for Attorney General, and one-time New Castle County officer Renee Taschner fell short in her latest bid for office – the D nomination to face Smith in the Pike Creek-area 22nd district.

A Bad Night for Comebacks and 4th/5th/6thetc. Tries

Herman Holloway Jr., scion of a city political dynasty, one-time state representative and now frequent candidate, brought up the rear in the four-way battle to be the next state senator from the 2nd district.  In the race to replace Bryon Short in Brandywine Hundred’s 7th district, the mysterious Rose Izzo garnered 253 votes, which unfortunately put her five of five candidates in the Democratic primary.  Yes, for those of you familiar with Ms. Izzo, that was the Democrat primary.  Izzo, of course, ran multiple times for Congress as a Republican in Delaware after runs for office in other states in who-knows-what party.

Two Incumbents Fall

Wilmington City Councilman Nnamdi Chukwuocha defeated State Rep. Charles Potter for House District 1, earning nearly 60% of the votes

Controversial, powerful State Representative Charles Potter was thumped by Wilmington city councilman Nnamdi Chukwuocha, making him one of two incumbents to lose on Thursday.  With his wife, Wilmington treasurer Velda Jones-Potter, the sharp-elbowed Potter has made up a city power player duo that has bumped into some controversy along the way. 

Last year Potter torpedoed a deal that had Salesianum School investing $10 million in Baynard Stadium most likely rankling not a few supporters of the stadium’s rehabilitation and the school at 18thand Broom. 

Longtime New Castle County Councilman Bill Powers fell short in his re-election bid, losing to Democrat David Carter in the south of the canal district.


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