A look at this year’s primaries
Delaware conducted its state primary elections, with progressive challengers up against longtime Democrat incumbents in statewide and local races.
Delaware conducted its state primary elections on Tuesday, with progressive challengers squaring up against longtime Democrat incumbents in statewide and local races.
Governor John Carney faced a primary challenge from accountant and progressive activist David Williams, but ultimately won with around 85% of the vote. However, the Republican primary was much more contested, with a field of six candidates seeking to challenge Carney in November. GOP pick Julianne Murray secured the nomination with about 41% of the vote, though Senator Colin Bonini came the closest to defeating her with about 35% of the vote.
U.S. Senator Chris Coons successfully fended off political newcomer Jessica Scarane in the Democratic primary, winning about 73% of the vote. This victory came in part due to a massive amount of spending on Coons’ part, who spent approximately $800,000 on television advertisements compared to Scarane’s $65,000.
Coons will now face Republican Lauren Witzke in the general election who defeated GOP pick Jim DeMartino in her respective primary. Witzke has garnered attention for her “Trumpian” style politics, controversial social media posts and a firm belief in the QAnon conspiracy theory.
Lee Murphy won the Republican primary race for Delaware’s U.S. House seat with 74% against Matthew Morris, after failing to secure the nomination in 2018. Murphy will now go on to face U.S. Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester in the November general election.
Progressive candidates experienced more success down the ballot, with four of the seven incumbents on the ballot defeated by progressive challengers.
The most stunning and consequential upset was the defeat of Senate President Pro Tempore David McBride in the 13th Senate district primary by social worker Marie Pinkney, who achieved a narrow victory with around 52% of the vote. David McBride, who has served in the legislature for four decades, lost by 282 votes. Pinkney will face Republican Alexander Homich in the general election.
Representative Earl Jaques of Newark faced his first primary challenge in 10 years and ultimately lost to Eric Morrison. Morrison would be the first openly gay member of the General Assembly if elected and will face Republican Tripp Keister and Libertarian William Hinds in November.
Representative Ray Siegfried, who was elected in 2018 to represent a Claymont-area district, was defeated by Larry Lambert. Lambert was the runner-up to Siegfried in the 2018 Democratic primary. He will face Republican James Haubrich and Libertarian Scott Gesty in November.
Representative John Viola, who held the Newark-area seat for 22 years, was ousted by his former legislative aide Madinah Wilson-Anton, who could become the first Muslim elected to the General Assembly if she defeats Republican Timothy Conrad in November.
Senator Harris McDowell of Wilmington retired recently, leaving Sarah McBride and Joe McCole to compete for his open seat. Sarah McBride won with 91% of the vote, and will now face Republican Steve Washington in the general election. If elected, not only will Sarah McBride be the first openly transgender state senator of Delaware, but she will be the first openly transgender state senator in the entire country.
Attorney Kyle Evans Gay won a three-way contest to determine which Democrat would face incumbent Republican Senator Cathy Cloutier in November. Evans Gay, secured 57 percent of the vote.
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