Posted: April 9, 2008


By Celia Cohen
Grapevine Political Writer

Sometimes the only way to make sense out of politics is by following the advice, when you come to a fork in the road, take it.

It is happening to the Delaware Democrats as they deal with the dilemma of sorting out their nomination for governor between Lt. Gov. John Carney and Treasurer Jack Markell, two proven and popular vote-getters.

Not just the party is confounded. So are individuals. Rebecca Young is a case in point.

Young lives near Newark in the 22nd Representative District. The Democratic committee there endorsed Carney. Young is also the executive director of the Progressive Democrats for Delaware. That group endorsed Markell. She is the secretary for the New Castle County Democratic Party, too. It has yet to choose sides, but -- who knows? -- maybe it will vote to stay neutral.

"I'm a little schizophrenic," Young quipped.

If the head is confused, turn to the heart. Young's membership in the 22nd Representative District committee is an accident of geography, while her participation with the Progressive Democrats is a personal pledge of political allegiance. She will be working to get Markell nominated.

"You have to live with this stuff. First of all, you remember you're a Democrat," Young said. "I'll ask the committee to forgive me, and they will."

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Secretary of State Harriet Smith Windsor never knows who will be on the line when she answers her telephone these days.

Chelsea Clinton? Michelle Obama? Madeleine Albright, the Clinton administration's secretary of state? All of the above.

Windsor doubles as the Delaware Democrats' vice chair, a post that makes her an automatic delegate to the party's national nominating convention this summer in Denver. Like the other super-delegates, she is a free agent who can vote for either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama.

It makes for interesting phone calls. Chelsea Clinton and Albright pressed her to go one way, Michelle Obama the other.

Windsor remains uncommitted. After all, she has not heard from the candidates themselves.

"I'm holding out," Windsor quipped.

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No child born ever has thought, "When I grow up, I want to be a deputy insurance commissioner." Any number of children, though, dream about racing horses.

This would explain Mike Vild.

After Democrat Matt Denn was elected insurance commissioner in 2004, Vild came along as the Insurance Department's second-in-command, giving up his law practice at the Bayard Firm to do it. The two go back about 20 years to the days they were summer associates at Morris Nichols Arsht & Tunnell, with Denn from Yale law and Vild from Notre Dame.

Now Denn is running for lieutenant governor, and Vild is moving on, too, to an assignment that lets him combine his legal background with his boyish attachment to horse racing. His family raises horses, rides them and trains them. After Friday, he will leave the Insurance Department to become general counsel for Delaware Park, the Stanton gaming site for horses and slots.

As Denn put it, "Once again I lose at Delaware Park."