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Democratic primaries could portend results in November

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By Randall Chase, Associated Press

DOVER (AP) — Results of some of Tuesday’s primary elections in Delaware could determine who takes office in January, notwithstanding November’s general election.

With Democrats far outnumbering Republicans in Delaware, winners of Democratic primaries for U.S. House and lieutenant governor, as well as lesser races, will have the numbers stacked in their favor as they head into November.

Six Democrats are vying to replace fellow Democrat John Carney Jr. as Delaware’s sole representative in the U.S. House. Carney opted to run for governor after former Attorney General Beau Biden died last year after having announced his intentions to run for governor.

The top tier of candidates vying for Carney’s seat features state Sen. Bryan Townsend, former state Labor Secretary Lisa Blunt Rochester, and Sean Barney, a former aide to Sen. Tom Carper and Gov. Jack Markell who ran unsuccessfully for state treasurer in 2014.

Rounding out the field are businessmen Mike Miller and Scott Walker, and Elias Weir, a recent transplant from New York, where he ran unsuccessfully for state Senate.

The winner takes on Republican Hans Reigle in November.

Meanwhile, Republicans will choose Tuesday between state Sen. Colin Bonini and retired state Trooper Lacey Lafferty in a GOP gubernatorial primary, with the winner taking on Carney.

Like the congressional primary, the Democratic contest for lieutenant governor also has drawn half a dozen candidates, including state Sen. Bethany Hall-Long, New Castle County Register of Wills Ciro Poppiti III, and Rehoboth Beach Commissioner Kathy McGuiness. Also in the race are Wilmington Councilwoman Sherry Dorsey Walker, Kent County Commissioner Brad Eaby, and former Sussex County Register of Wills Greg Fuller.

The winner faces Republican La Mar Gun in November. The lieutenant governor’s office has been vacant since Matt Denn stepped down in January 2015 to succeed Biden as attorney general.

Other contests to be decided Tuesday include Republican and Democratic primaries for insurance commissioner and New Castle County executive, and an eight-way Democratic primary for Wilmington mayor.

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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