Democrats sweep federal and statewide offices in Delaware
(AP) — Democrats swept federal and statewide races in Delaware and padded their margins in both chambers of the legislature.
Here is a look at the key races in Delaware:
Incumbent Democrat Tom Carper won a fourth-term in the U.S. Senate, keeping his unbeaten string during more than four decades in politics intact. Carper ran against Sussex County Councilman Rob Arlett, who owns a real estate business and was President Donald Trump’s state campaign chair in 2016.
Incumbent Democrat Lisa Blunt Rochester, the first black and first woman elected to Congress from Delaware, won a second term as the state’s lone representative in the U.S. House. She easily defeated Republican Scott Walker, a businessman who ran for Congress two years ago as a Democrat and was disavowed by the state GOP for his controversial statements.
Democrat Kathleen Jennings, a former state prosecutor who also held the number-two job in Delaware’s Department of Justice, defeated her Republican opponent Bernard Pepukayi to succeed retiring Democratic Attorney General Matt Denn. Pepukayi, a longtime Democrat, had switched parties and filed for the office after the lone GOP candidate abruptly quit the race.
Democratic newcomer Colleen Davis, a health care industry consultant, defeated Republican Ken Simpler, who sought a second term as state treasurer, an office that has been used in the past as a stepping stone to higher office. Simpler, who has a long background in the finance industry, had been seen as a potential GOP gubernatorial candidate in 2020.
Incumbent Republican Tom Wagner’s decision to retire for health reasons gave Democrats the chance to claim the state auditor’s office for the first time since 1989, when Wagner first took office. Democrat Kathleen McGuiness, a businesswoman and longtime Rehoboth Beach commissioner, defeated Republican James Spadola, a military veteran and former Newark police officer who has an MBA degree and a background in finance. Less than three weeks before Tuesday’s election, Wagner appointed Spadola to fill the vacant post of deputy auditor, drawing complaints from Democrats of political favoritism and partisanship.
Democrats blocked Republicans’ hopes of taking control of the state Senate for the first time since Richard Nixon was president. The Democrats entered the election with a narrow 11-10 advantage, but they ended the night with a 12-9 advantage. The party held contested seats, picked up an open one vacated by a Democrat and upset GOP Minority Whip Greg Lavelle, a veteran lawmaker.
Democrats picked up a seat in the state House, defeating GOP Minority Whip Deborah Hudson, who was first elected in 1994 and was the longest-serving member of the House. Democrats now have a 26-15 advantage in the chamber.