Ruth Briggs King

Ruth Briggs King launches campaign for lieutenant governor

Betsy PriceGovernment, Headlines

Ruth Briggs King

Former state legislator Ruth Briggs King of Georgetown announced her candidacy for lieutenant governor Friday, with stops in Historic New Castle, Dover and Georgetown.

Ruth Briggs King, a former state legislator from Georgetown, formally announced Friday she is running for lieutenant governor.

If elected, she said, she will continue to work as a public servant, just as she did in the House of Representatives.

“I realized that I was elected by Republicans, Democrats and Independents,” she said. “This is a campaign for the people, not necessarily the party, and in our state, the Democrat Party has been in the majority for over 30 years, and they’ve left the people behind. ”

The only Republican woman in the General Assembly for the 14 years she served, Briggs King resigned last year after she and her husband Stanley built a home a mile outside of her district.

At the time, she said, she had no intention of running for office again and expected to stay busy working on the State’s Women’s Commission, a state Human Resources subcommittee and the board of A Better Delaware.

“I’m running because a lot of people came to me and said, ‘We need you. We need your experience. We need your integrity. We need your intelligence. We need you to work for us because you listen,” Briggs King said. “My reputation has been built on constituent service, listening to those I serve, answering your questions and concerns.

“As your lieutenant governor, I would do no less. In fact, I would probably do more. I would do it throughout the state.”

Briggs King platform

She doesn’t plan to parrot a national agenda.

“We have to have some change that is responsive to the people, not a national agenda, but what Delaware needs, what our families and businesses,” Briggs King said.

She will be one of four women seeking the second-highest office in the state.

Briggs King has no Republican challenger, but will meet the winner of the Democratic primary: Rep. Sherry Dorsey Walker, D-Wilmington; Rep. Kyle Evans Gay, D-Brandywine Hundred; and retired U.S. Army veteran Dr. Debbie Harrington of Middletown.

“It’s all women,” Briggs King agreed. “But I think there’s huge, unique differences in all of us, and I have served longer. ”

She said her experience on the Joint Finance Committee, which writes the state budget; and a Revenue Task Force appointed by Gov. Jack Markell as well as her other legislative duties gave her a broad view of what happens up and down the state, how communities are different; and what communities need to succeed.

Her own experience growing up on a farm and then as a teacher, regional medical laboratory executive and nonprofit association manager help her understand and see issues from multiple points of view, she said.

“If you see poverty and New Castle County, it looks different than it does in rural Sussex,” she said. “But if you’re not looking for these things, and listening to people, you will miss that.”

Ruth Briggs King Mike Ramone

Mike Ramone, left, who is running for governor on the Republican ticket, joined Ruth Briggs King for her announcement.

While Briggs King is considered the running mate of Mike Ramone, a Pike Creek/Newark legislator seeking the Republican nomination for governor, but she could be elected and serve even if he is not.

In Delaware, it’s possible to have a Democrat win one role and a Republican in the other.

If she does win, she would be the first Republican woman to chair the Senate.

Briggs King said she will campaign on five platforms: tailored education, building a robust economy, a safer Delaware, better Veteran healthcare and improving Delaware’s infrastructure.

Under Democrats, she pointed out, Delaware has gone from sixth in the country to near the bottom.

She’d like to see programs that put money directly into classrooms and teachers, as well as focusing on safety and discipline. Absenteeism among students and teachers is too high, she said.

One size doesn’t fit all in education, she said, and programs need to be instituted that focus on what individual children need to succeed.

Building a robust economy means cutting regulations that prevent businesses from moving on, whether that’s a $25,000 sprinkler system at a small business or 18-month wait for large businesses on other issue.

Some good state programs actually get in the way of a business doing its best to succeed, she said.

Briggs King said several people asked why she chose Historic New Castle for her announcement rather than downtown Wilmington. Historic New Castle is the cradle of Delaware, she said, and likely safer statistically than downtown Wilmington.

She noted that Sussex County in the last week has had home invasions and four murders, including one by someone who should not have had access to a weapon.

“While Delaware has been progressive and moved towards a lot of reform, what they are doing is looking more towards the rights of the criminal and they’re forgetting they’ve gone soft on crime and hard on victims,” she said. “You’re making all of us victims because when crimes are committed, it does hurt all of us one way or another.”

Briggs King doesn’t believe a lot of new laws are needed. She thinks the state needs to ensure that the laws on the books are justly and fairly enforced.

“A lot of it comes down to putting Delaware first, and the First State needs to make sure that Delawareans are first and that we get first things first, some of these basic things that are tried and true that when Delaware was succeeding and all of our people were feeling much better about their economic situation, much better about the education system,” Briggs King said.

“We know what needs to be done. We just have to have the will to do that and I believe that I have that will I believe I’ve demonstrated through 14 years plus of public service and serving all of those that I represent.”

Briggs King said she had been questioned about why she would want to run because the odds were “sort of against you if you look at the numbers.”

“Well, I don’t like to look at the numbers,” she said. “When I was teaching and they would tell me you’re going to have four special needs students in your class, and here’s what they can do. And I would say, no, don’t tell me what they can and can’t do. They’ll show me what they can and can’t do.”







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