EARLY LINE 2016
Updated: Sept. 22, 2015
All but three of the last 10 people to be elected governor were either the lieutenant governor or the congressman before they got there.
John Carney has had to double down, trying for governor as the lieutenant governor and as the congressman, but it looks like it is finally going to work out for him.
Letting everyone in on the worst-kept secret in Delaware politics, Carney came out for governor in a blast e-mail last week.
It will be Carney's second run for the state's top office, and what a difference eight years make.
His last time out, when Carney was the lieutenant governor, he experienced a heartbreaker. He narrowly lost to Jack Markell in the 2008 Democratic primary, which set up Markell for two terms as governor, now coming to a constitutional close. (Not to mention Carney's gracious concession set up his comeback as congressman in 2010.)
This time out, as the sitting congressman, Carney practically looks like a consensus choice for governor, particularly since Colin Bonini, the state senator who is the leading Republican candidate, cannot seem to stop himself from saying nice things about Carney, whom he knows well from Carney's years of presiding over the state Senate as the lieutenant governor.
Carney's switch to the governor's race means there will be an open congressional seat, which does not come along every day, not with only one of them for the entire state. As a matter of fact, this will be only the fourth time in the last 40 years, so naturally it is drawing something of a crowd.
On the Democratic side, it only took until the day after Carney made his move for Bryan Townsend, a state senator, to launch a congressional campaign. Bryon Short, a state representative, is also expected to run, and so might Sean Barney, the 2014 candidate for state treasurer. On the Republican side, it is all Hans Reigle, a past mayor of Wyoming.
Other candidacies continue to swirl and fade.
One of the best tip-offs on the Democratic side is the Sussex County Democratic Jamboree, where potential Democratic candidates go to see and be seen.
Bethany Hall-Long, a state senator, got the chatter going about lieutenant governor when she went to the Jamboree last month. By contrast, there were no sightings of either Tom Gordon, the New Castle County executive who has been playing coy about governor, or Collin O'Mara, the National Wildlife Federation president who was thought to be looking at the congressional seat.
It is time to write off Gordon and O'Mara. Out, out, with their spots!
Incumbents in bold