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Meyer files to run for Delaware governor

Katie Tabeling
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New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer poses outside the Delaware Election Commissioner office with his wife and son. | PHOTO COURTESY OF MATT MEYER

New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer poses outside the Delaware Election Commissioner office with his wife and son. | PHOTO COURTESY OF MATT MEYER

WILMINGTON — New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer made it official and filed as a candidate in the gubernatorial race in Delaware last week.

Meyer was the first candidate to declare he was entering the race in June, and started the race with more than $1 million in campaign funding. The New Castle County executive was joined by supporters and his wife, Dr. Lauren Meyer, and their newborn son on March 27 as he signed the candidacy paperwork.

“I am running for governor because we must move our state forward with urgency to address our most pressing issues. We don’t just make promises. We make plans and from those plans we make progress,” Meyer said in a news release.

Meyer has billed himself as a government outsider, aiming to break a new record. Delaware has never sent a New Castle County executive to the governor’s mansion, despite running the state’s most populous county.

“As the only candidate in this race who has managed a government, we’ve delivered one of the only property tax reductions in Delaware history while also delivering real results for hard-working families,” he said. “I know we can deliver at the state level, too.”

Meyer is a Wilmington resident who graduated from an Ivy League university who first got his taste for politics by volunteering on the 1990 upstart gubernatorial campaign of Rhode Island Gov. Bruce Sundlun. 

He also moved to Africa to create a company that benefited locals, served as a U.S. diplomat in Iraq amid an active warzone, taught math in Wilmington and Washington, D.C., inner city schools to aid children in need, and even earned a law degree and practiced at a high-profile business firm.

In 2016, he ran against three-term incumbent New Castle County Executive Tom Gordon and won a surprising upset. In 2020, he won his primary with 56% of the vote and didn’t face a Republican challenger.

Meyer led the county through the COVID-19 pandemic, negotiating an early deal for testing with Testing for America, introducing state leaders to their testing partner Curative, brokering a partnership with Delaware State University to quicken local testing capabilities, and participating in an innovative monitoring of municipal sewage for the virus with Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Meyer’s tenure in New Castle has also included many wins with major companies like Amazon, WuXi STA Pharmaceutical, Prelude Therapeutics, Incyte, and more have arrived or expanded their presence in the First State. His Jobs Now program for expediting reviews on the most-impactful job creation projects has been well-received by many major national developers who have arrived here.

In a news release, Meyer turned his focus to affordable housing, the state’s “broken and underfunded education system” and improving the access to health care in Delaware.

“Delaware needs a leader with a track record of getting big things done. We have been leading Delaware’s largest local government and we can statewide,” he said.

Meyer boasts of more than 5,000 donations and more than 1,000 volunteers signed up. Many of the donations include several major Delaware CEOs, developers, lawyers, restaurateurs, philanthropists and other business leaders. By the end of 2023, he raised $671,655 from donors.

Meyer will face Former DNREC Secretary Colin O’ Mara, who filed for the governor’s race weeks earlier. Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall Long is also running for the office, but has yet to file the paperwork.

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