2012 elections preview: Delaware voters to select winners in congressional, legislative primaries

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September 10, 2012

By Ballotpedia's Congressional and State legislative teams

The primary season continues tomorrow with elections in Delaware, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island.

Here's what to watch for in Delaware, where polling places will be open from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm, Eastern Time. If voters are in line waiting to vote at closing time, they may cast their votes even if it is done after 8:00 pm.[1] Election officials are predicting high voter turnout as a result of the large number of primary contests among Republicans and Democrats, as well as numerous local races and statewide contests.[2]

Contested Primaries in Delaware -- September 11, 2012
U.S. House
(1 seat)
State Legislature
(62 seats)
Total Democratic Contested Primaries 0 (0%) 14 (22.58%)
Total Republican Contested Primaries 1 (100%) 6 (9.68%)

Congress

U.S. Senate

United States Senate elections in Delaware, 2012

Incumbent Tom Carper faces a challenge from Keith Robert Spanarelli in the Democratic primary for Delaware's U.S. Senate seat. The winner will face Republican Kevin Wade, who has no primary challenger, in the general election. Green Party candidate Andrew Richard Groff and Independent Alexander Pires are also seeking election to the seat.

U.S. House

United States House of Representatives elections in Delaware, 2012

Delaware has one congressional seat on the ballot in 2012. A total of 4 candidates filed to run, made up of 2 Democratic challengers, 1 incumbent, and 1 Libertarian. Including states with primaries tomorrow, a total of 429 U.S. House seats have held primaries. Thus far, 55.01% of possible primaries have been contested. Delaware's contested figure of 50% (1 out of 2 possible party primaries) is slightly less competitive than the national average.

In Delaware's at large congressional district, Democratic incumbent John Carney is running unopposed in the primary. On the other side of the aisle, Rose Izzo competes with Tom Kovach for the Republican nomination.


Members of the U.S. House from Delaware -- Partisan Breakdown
Party As of November 2012 After the 2012 Election
     Democratic Party 1 1
     Republican Party 0 0
Total 1 1

State legislature

Delaware State Senate elections, 2012 and Delaware House of Representatives elections, 2012

There are 62 total legislative seats with elections in 2012 -- 41 Senate seats and 21 House seats.

There are 14 (22.58%) contested Democratic primaries and 6 (9.68%) contested Republican primaries. Thus, there will be 20 (16.13%) races tomorrow with at least two candidates on the ballot. The 16.13% figure of total contested primaries in Delaware is lower than the current national contested average of 18.40% for states that have had filing deadlines.

Senate

Heading into the election, the Democratic Party held the majority in the Delaware State Senate:

Democratic Party District 1: Incumbent Harris McDowell, who first assumed office in 1976, faces two challengers David D. Brady and James Martin in the Democratic primary. No Republican candidates filed to run, but the winner of the primary will face Libertarian Party candidate Bryan Lintz and Independent candidate Robert Clark in the general election.
Democratic Party District 3: Incumbent Robert Marshall first assumed office in 1978 and faces primary competition from two challengers, Eric M. Anderson and Timothy J. Meades, Sr. in the Democratic primary. The winner will face no major party competition in the general election, and is all but guaranteed the winner of the district seat.
Republican PartyDemocratic Party District 6: Incumbent Liane Sorenson (R) will not seek re-election. The open seat drew both party competition. Democratic candidates Robert G. Frederick, Micheal C. Miller, Sr., and Andrew W. Staton will face off for the nomination. On the Republican ticket just two candidates, Ernesto B. Lopez and Glen Urquhart will go head to head for the Republican nomination. The winners of the primaries will face Libertarian Party candidate Gwendolyn M. Jones in the general election.
Republican Party District 18: Incumbent Gary Simpson, who first assumed office in 1999, will face challenger Matthew A. Opaliski in the Republican primary. The winner of the primary will take on Democratic candidate Gary Downes in the general election.
Republican Party District 19: Incumbent Joseph Booth first assumed office in 2009 and will face challenger Eric R. Bodenweiser in the Republican primary. The winner will face Jane E. Hovington in the general election.

House

Heading into the election, the Democratic Party holds the majority in the Delaware House of Representatives:

Democratic Party District 1: Incumbent Dennis P. Williams (D) will not seek re-election. Three Democratic candidates Victoria A. Kent, Rourke A. Moore, Charles Potter, Jr. will face off to determine the seat. No major party competition filed to run, so the winner of the primary is all but guaranteed the district seat.
Democratic Party District 2: Incumbent Stephanie Bolden first assumed office in 2011. She will face challenger Arthur Scott in the Democratic primary. The winner will face no major party competition in the general election.
Democratic Party District 10: Incumbent Dennis E. Williams, who first assumed office in 2009, faces challenger Sean Matthews in the Democratic primary. The winner will face Republican nominee Robert M. Rhodunda in the general election.
Democratic Party District 11: Incumbent Gregory Lavelle (R) will not seek re-election, and will instead run for Delaware State Senate. Democratic candidates David Brown, Jr. and Lynne Newlin are battling for the Democratic nomination. The winner will face Republican nominee Jeffrey Spiegelman and Libertarian Party candidate Margaret McKeown in the general election.
Democratic Party District 15: Incumbent Valerie Longhurst, who first assumed office in 2005, faces a primary challenge from James D. Burton in the Democratic primary. The winner will face Libertarian Party candidate Amy Merlino in the general election.
Democratic Party District 19: Incumbent Robert Gilligan (D) will not seek re-election. Candidates William H. Dunn and Kimberly Williams are vying for the Democratic nomination, and the opportunity to take on Republican nominee Dennis C. Cini to decide the open seat.
Democratic Party District 20: Incumbent Nick Manolakos (R) will seek re-election in District 22. Democratic candidates Thomas D. Jones, Sr., Marie M. Mayor, Lynn J. Rogers are vying for nomination. The winner of the primary will take on Republican nominee Stephen T. Smyk and Libertarian Party candidate Valerie V. Valeska in the general election.
Republican PartyDemocratic Party District 22: Incumbents Nick T. Manolakos, who first assumed office in District 20 in 2007, and Joseph Miro, who first assumed office District 22 in 1999, will face off for the Republican nomination. The winner of the incumbent vs. incumbent primary will take on Democratic candidate David E. Ellis in the general election.
Democratic Party District 23: Incumbent Teresa Schooley (D) chose not to seek re-election in 2012. Democratic candidates Paul S. Baumbach, Claudia B. Bock, and Gerald J. Grant, Jr. are seeking the nomination. Republican nominee Mark Doughty will face the winner of the Democratic primary in the general election to decide the open seat.
Republican PartyDemocratic Party District 32: Incumbent E. Bradford Bennett (D) chose not to seek re-election in 2012. Both parties have contested primaries. Democratic candidates Andria L. Bennett and William P. McGlumphy are facing off for the nomination. On the Republican ticket candidates William R. McVay and Ellis B. Parrott are running for the nomination. The winners will face each other in the general election.
Republican Party District 39: Incumbent Daniel Short, who first assumed office in 2003, will take on challenger Patrick J. Murray not just for the Republican nomination. The winner will face no general election competition, and will be all but guaranteed the district seat.
Democratic Party District 40: Incumbent Clifford Lee (R) chose not to seek re-election. Democratic candidates Raymond C. Adkins and Benjamin D. Lowe are running to decide the nomination. The winner will face Republican nominee Timothy D. Dukes in the general election.


Delaware State Senate
Party As of November 5, 2012 After the 2012 Election
     Democratic Party 14 13
     Republican Party 7 8
Total 21 21


Delaware House of Representatives
Party As of November 5, 2012 After the 2012 Election
     Democratic Party 26 27
     Republican Party 15 14
Total 41 41


See also

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