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Politicos prep for Delaware’s April 26 primary

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Remember the also-rans when casting your ballot.

By Kathy Canavan

Thirty-seven delegates are up for grabs in Delaware’s April 26 primary election. Republicans will vie for 16 delegates in a winner-take-all vote. Democrats vie for 21 to be distributed proportionally.

Most of the names on Delaware’s primary ballot are household words by now—Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, John Kasich, Bernie Sanders, Roque De La Fuente.

Roque De La Fuente?

“Rocky” De La Fuente, a California car dealer, only needed to qualify for federal matching funds to be added to the Delaware ballot.

De La Fuente is a successful businessman like Trump. He owns 28 new car franchises in California. Well, not exactly like Trump. De La Fuente talks about service to others, a tradition he says he learned from the Carmelite nuns, Marist brothers and Jesuit priests who educated him.  The featured quote on his website is “Politics is about ensuring the common well-being, not the interest of a select few.”

The Democratic candidate, a first-generation Mexican-American who purportedly owns the tallest free-standing American flag pole in the country, said he won’t take a presidential paycheck until half of America’s homeless are off the streets, 100 new city parks have been built, 1 million new jobs have been created and a logical immigration policy is put into effect.

That makes three options for Democrats in Delaware — Clinton, Sanders and De La Fuente.  All three have volunteers working in Delaware.

Courtney McGregor, communications director for Gov. Jack Markell, is the paid state director for Clinton. She said organizers and volunteers are conducting phone banks, canvassing homes, planning campaign events and leveraging the endorsements of Gov. Markell and other elected officials.

Dr. Philip Pollner, a family practice physician in Newark, is the volunteer director of the Sanders’ Delaware effort. He said 30 Sanders  volunteers canvassed approximately 2,000 homes on the first weekend of the month.

The Republican field has winnowed. Lincoln Chafee, whose slogan was “Fresh Ideas for America,” left the race on Oct. 23; Bobby Jindal, whose slogan was “Tanned, Rested, Ready,” left the race on Nov. 17; Lindsey Graham, whose slogan was “Ready to Be Commander-In-Chief on Day One,” dropped out Dec. 21; George Pataki, who used the slogan “People Over Politics,” left on Dec. 29; Mike Huckabee, whose slogan was “Hope to Higher Ground,” quit on Feb. 1; Martin O’Malley, whose slogan was “Rebuild the American Dream,” also left the race on Feb. 1; Jim Gilmore, whose slogan was “Gilmore for America,” gave up his campaign on Feb. 2; Rand Paul, whose slogan was “Telling It Like It Is,” left on Feb. 3; Rick Santorum, whose slogan was “Restore the American Dream for Hardworking Families,” also dropped out on Feb. 3; Carly Fiorina, whose slogan was “New Possibilities. Real Leadership,” left on Feb. 10; Chris Christie, whose slogan was “Defeat the Washington Machine. Unleash the American Dream,” gave up on Feb. 10; Jeb Bush, whose slogan was “Jeb!,” dropped out on Feb. 20; Ben Carson, whose slogan was “Heal+Inspire+Revive,” dropped out on March 4; and Marco Rubio, whose slogan was “A New American Century,” left March 15.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich has the backing of several Delawareans who served as national political executives. His state leadership team includes two honorary chairs – former Congressman Tom Evans, who was a close advisor to Reagan, and former Reagan communications director Frank Ursomarso. Michael Fleming, a communications executive, chairs the committee

Several Republicans who dropped out will appear on the Delaware ballot because their campaigns did not withdraw their names, Elections Commissioner Elaine Manlove said. In addition to current candidates Ted Cruz, John Kasich and Donald Trump, Delaware Republicans will see Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush and Ben Carson.

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