Posted: Dec. 1, 2011


By Celia Cohen
Grapevine Political Writer

There is not much harder in politics than what the Delaware Republicans are up against.

The Republicans are coming off an election so bad, the two-party system here deteriorated into little more than a polite fiction. Not to mention they are looking at an all-incumbent statewide ticket on the Democratic side for 2012. Oh, and Joe Biden will be at the top of the ballot for vice president.

Never mind. Not just hope springs eternal. So do candidates.

Against the odds, the Republicans have the stirrings of a statewide ticket, not exactly household names, but not a mirage, either. So far, there is someone expressing interest in every spot, except lieutenant governor.

The potential candidate for governor is Jeff Cragg, a Brandywine Hundred businessman who is a party regular, more visible five or so years ago than recently.

Cragg is a past co-chair of the New Castle County Republicans, considered the 2004 race for insurance commissioner, and once ran for Republican state chair. He used to be in insurance, but now he owns Mail Boxes Etc. in the Fairfax Shopping Center north of Wilmington with his wife.

"The Republican Party has to have an appropriate standard bearer, and I'm thinking about being that person," Cragg said. "The state of the state is poor, and we need to make some changes, and I'd like to be part of that positive change."

The Republicans also appear to have located a candidate for insurance commissioner. Ben Mobley, a Morgan Stanley investment adviser who came to Delaware in 2007 and lives in Middletown, is all but certain to run.

"I'm about 110 percent positive. I'm just going to the party and trying to introduce myself," he said.

Cragg and Mobley join a list of other Republican candidates already in the mix. Kevin Wade, a systems engineer from old New Castle, is exploring a Senate candidacy, and so might Glen Urquhart, the 2010 congressional candidate who now chairs the Sussex County Republicans. The party is also counting on Tom Kovach, the New Castle County Council president, for the congressional seat.

Office Leading Democrats Leading Republicans Rundown
Senate Tom Carper  Glen Urquhart

Kevin Wade

Carper could have the safest seat in the U.S. Senate. The U.Va. Center for Politics ranked the odds for a turnover as "not gonna happen"
House John Carney

Tom Kovach 

Carney is a popular Democrat in a blue state but just a first-termer, so it is probably now or never to get him. Either way, Kovach is a lucky man, sprung from that New Castle County Council wasteland
Governor Jack Markell Jeff Cragg Like the guy who beat Carney in a primary is going to be the first governor since 1976 to lose re-election? Cragg gets credit for taking one for his party
Lt Gov Matt Denn   With no Republican in sight, Denn's most pressing concern is wishing Markell has a bang-up second term as governor to set up a run for himself in 2016
Insurance Commissioner  Karen Weldin Stewart

Mitch Crane

Vincent White

Ben Mobley It is never good when someone runs against an old boss, as Crane is doing against Stewart. The Democrats with their infighting are doing what they can to give this office away

Incumbents in bold