Posted: March 22, 2012
EARLY LINE 2012: LEGISLATIVE UPDATE
By Celia Cohen
Grapevine Political Writer
The Republicans are figuring they can pick up seats
in the state Senate. If they do, they will have to give
credit where credit is due, namely, to the Democrats.
The Republicans' biggest allies are Democratic
redistricting and retirement.
The Democrats, who are in charge of the Senate, drew
the lines in the once-a-decade mapmaking to smooth out
the district populations and put some of their own in
jeopardy. Funny, it was the same Democratic senators who
tried but failed to oust Tony de Luca as the president
The retirement of George Howard Bunting, a Sussex
County Democrat, virtually ensures the Republicans will
pick up his district, where Gerald Hocker, a Republican
state representative, has been waiting respectfully for
Bunting to exit.
Hocker is regarded as such a sure thing, he gives
death and taxes pause.
It has been 40 years since the Senate Republicans
were in the majority. This election could have them
paring away at the Democrats' 14-7 majority and get them
oh-so-close to the tipping point.
With so much riding on the Senate races, the other
chamber in the Delaware General Assembly has been
largely an afterthought. The Democrats in the House of
Representatives go into the election with the majority,
currently 26-15, and they are expected to come out of it
with the majority.
The House Democrats knew what they were doing when
they redistricted. The only legislators they tossed
together were Republicans.
Northern New Castle County
||Redistricting knocked Lavelle, the House
minority leader, out of his own seat, so he is
trying to knock out Katz. With voter
registration favoring the Republicans, this is
one of the districts they targeted for a pickup
||Redistricting threw Sokola in with Sorenson,
the minority whip. Registration leans his way,
but it is essentially her old district, making
it a battleground
New Castle-below the canal
||This district is so Democratic, the
Democrats regard it as a firewall. That is, if
they can find someone to take on Connor, who has
survived as a pro-labor Republican
|The lure of a new Senate seat has led to
primaries on both sides. Anything goes
||With the retirement of George Howard
Bunting, a Democrat, this looks like one of the
easiest Republican pickups ever
Hockessin-Pike Creek Valley
|Redistricting combined Manolakos and Miro in
one of the last surviving Republican districts.
May the best Republican win
Southern New Castle
County-northern Kent County
||A new district where both parties are trying
to come to terms with its split county
||Another new district
Incumbents in bold.
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