Democrats tighten grip on state politics with Midterm victories
BY City Editor
Today marked the culmination of a particularly contentious midterm election season. Delawareans elected a majority of Democrats for state offices, including treasurer, auditor, attorney general and legislatures for both houses of the General Assembly.
The Democratic Party had been expecting its energized voter base to win it success in these elections after a record number of people voted in the state’s primaries this year. According to Delaware’s Department of Elections, statewide voter turnout was higher than usual at 52.11%.
In the Delaware House of Representatives, the Democratic Party retained the majority by winning 28 out of 41 seats, 13 of which were uncontested. Democrats gained ground in the House by winning three seats from Republicans.
The election in State Representative District 22, located in northern Delaware along the Pennsylvania border, was very close. Republican Michael F. Smith defeated Democrat Guillermina Gonzalez by a margin of just 50.60% to 49.40% of the vote. That margin translates to a 140-vote victory.
Democrat Kathleen Jennings won the race for State Attorney General with over 60% of the vote. Jennings outspent her opponents with an unprecedented $377,000 raised from supporters during the primaries alone.
Democrat Colleen Davis emerged victorious in the race for State Treasurer with 52.35% of the vote, and Democrat Kathleen K. McGuinness was elected Auditor of Accounts with 57.89% of the vote.
In the State Senate, 10 of the 21 seats were up for election, and only eight of those were contested. Republicans won four State Senate seats and Democrats won six, one more than they held previously.
The Democratic State Senate Majority Leader Margaret Rose Henry of District 2 did not seek re-election, and her seat was taken uncontested by Darius Brown, another Democrat. The State Senate Minority Leader F. Gary Simpson also retired from politics. His seat was won by Republican David L. Wilson, who defeated Democrat James A. Purcell with 65.17% of the vote.
Most notably, incumbent Republican State Sen. Gregory Lavelle, the Minority Whip from Senate District 4, narrowly lost his bid for re-election to Democratic political newcomer Laura Sturgeon. With this defeat, Republicans have lost one of their leaders in the General Assembly, and Democrats have further solidified their control of state politics with a 3-seat advantage in the Senate.