Posted: July 10, 2012


By Celia Cohen
Grapevine Political Writer

Four years ago Delaware had a vice presidential candidate. Two years ago it had the not-a-witch of the Tea Party set. A little state can have only so much excitement in it. This year Delaware might as well hit the snooze button.

The filing deadline for candidates was today at noon, and it ended not with a bang but a whimper.

The top races in 2012 have solid Democrats running for re-election in a solidly Democratic state for senator, congressman, governor and lieutenant governor against a Republican lineup with a profile so low, it could be the envy of the witness protection program.

In the General Assembly, the Democratic majorities in both the Senate and the House of Representatives look safe. The Republicans at best could pick up a smattering of seats, and at worst could fade further into the minority.

The filing deadline did solve some human riddles. Brad Bennett, the Democratic representative whose next term could be served in jail if he is convicted of his second drunken driving charge, withdrew his candidacy -- sort of. His wife is running, instead. Bob Marshall, a Democratic senator who blustered about running for mayor in Wilmington, blinked and filed for re-election.

The ballot is not necessarily set yet. Candidates have until Friday to withdraw and still get their filing fees back, and the political parties have until Sept. 4 to fill vacancies on their tickets.


Office Leading Democrats Leading Republicans Rundown
Senate Tom Carper  Kevin Wade Carper is going full speed ahead for the record of most wins ever by a Delawarean running statewide. It would make Wade the unlucky 13th opponent
House John Carney

Tom Kovach

Carney is a popular Democrat in a blue state with more than half a million in the bank against Kovach's bare-bones campaign
Governor Jack Markell Jeff Cragg Four governors in a row have been re-elected to a second term. If even Ruth Ann Minner can do it, Markell must be a lock
Lt Governor Matt Denn Sher Valenzuela When the voters keep the governor, they keep the lieutenant governor. No worries for Denn
Insurance Commissioner 

Karen Weldin Stewart

Mitch Crane

Paul Gallagher

Dennis Spivack

Ben Mobley Stewart is a shaky incumbent, but too many candidates can spoil the opposition. The more who get in, the better her survival looks

Incumbents in bold; endorsed candidates in italics


Senate now: 14 Democrats, 7 Republicans

House of Representatives now: 26 Democrats, 15 Republicans


District Leading Democrats Leading Republicans Rundown
Senate 4th

Greenville-Brandywine Hundred

Mike Katz Greg Lavelle This should be the loudest race in the legislature as Lavelle, the House minority leader, tries to oust Katz from what used to be the Republicans' most certain seat
Senate 11th


Tony DeLuca

Bryan Townsend

Evan Queitsch DeLuca's tough-guy tenure as president pro tem landed him a serious primary in a district too Democratic for a Republican to win
Senate 12th

New Castle-Delaware City-below the canal

Nicole Poore Dori Connor The Democrats have left Connor alone for years because she is a pro-labor Republican, but they want the seat now as insurance to keep them in the majority
Senate 6th


Bob Frederick

Mike Miller

Andy Staton

Ernie Lopez

Glen Urquhart

The lure of a new Senate seat in Sussex has led to primaries on both sides. Anything goes
Senate 19th

Bridgeville-Georgetown-Long Neck

Eric Bodenweiser

Joe Booth

Jane Hovington Booth only beat Bodie by 120 votes last time, and that was before Booth let on he was going to double-dip with a school district job. This is a battle for a Republican seat
Senate 20th

Bethany-Fenwick Island-Millsboro

  Gerald Hocker With the retirement of George Howard Bunting, a Democrat, this looks like the easiest Republican pickup ever
House 19th

Mill Creek-Stanton-Newport

Bill Dunn

Kim Williams

Dennis Cini


Bob Gilligan, the Democratic speaker, is not retiring after 40 years to watch his district leave the Democratic side of the aisle
House 22nd

Hockessin-Pike Creek Valley

Dave Ellis Nick Manolakos

Joe Miro

Redistricting combined Manolakos and Miro in a seat that should stay Republican, whoever wins
House 23rd


Paul Baumbach

Claudia Bock

Jerry Grant

  The unexpected retirement of Terry Schooley, a four-term Democrat, unleashed a free-for-all within her party
House 11th

Southern New Castle County-northern Kent County

Dave Brown Jr.

Lynne Newlin


Jeff Spiegelman This is a new district with a Democratic-leaning registration but no political identity yet
House 32nd


Andria Bennett

Bill McGlumphy

Will McVay

Ellis Parrott

Surprise! Brad Bennett, the Democratic representative with two DUI arrests, gets out, so his wife runs, instead
House 20th


Thomas Jones

Marie Mayor

Lynn Rogers

Steve Smyk Rogers, who used to be a Sussex County councilman, is looking to get back into politics in this new district, but whatever, Sussex likes to vote Republican
House 38th

Ocean View-Fenwick Island-Selbyville

Shirley Price Ron Gray Price has waited 10 years to try for a comeback to the House after losing to Gerald Hocker, the Republican representative going for the Senate, but this Sussex seat is made for the Republicans
House 40th


Ray Adkins

Ben Lowe

Tim Dukes The retirement of Biff Lee, an 11-term Republican, has opened this Sussex seat up, most likely for another Republican

Incumbents in bold