Matthew Denn

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Matthew Denn
Matthew Denn.JPG
Lieutenant Governor of Delaware
In office
January 20, 2009 - Present
Term ends
Years in position 6
PredecessorJohn C. Carney Jr. (D)
Base salary$78,553
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First electedNovember 4, 2008
Next generalNovember 8, 2016
Campaign $$1,545,319
Term limits2 terms
Prior offices
Delaware Insurance Commissioner
2005 - 2009
Bachelor'sUniversity of California-Berkeley
J.D.Yale University Law School
Date of birthFebruary 9, 1966
Place of birthWilmington, Delaware
Office website
Campaign website

Matthew Denn is the current Democratic Lieutenant Governor of Delaware. He was first elected to the position on November 4, 2008 and took office alongside Gov. Jack Markell, a fellow Democrat, on January 20, 2009.

Denn is currently serving his second consecutive term as lieutenant governor, having recently won re-election in 2012. He ran unopposed in the Democratic primary on September 11, 2012. He defeated Sher Valenzuela (R) in the general election on November 6, 2012.[1]

When Denn became lieutenant governor, he already had years of executive branch experience. He had been chief legal counsel to then-Governor of Delaware Ruth Ann Minner from 2001 to 2003, and was Delaware's Insurance Commissioner from 2005-2009. He was elected to his first and only term as insurance commissioner in 2004, and used the office to push for the adoption of new laws restricting credit scoring and unfair cancellation of homeowners insurance as well as limiting increases to Delawareans' insurance rates.[2]

Prior to entering politics, Denn worked as an attorney in private practice.[3]

In his role at lieutenant governor, Denn also serves as President of the Delaware State Senate.

Denn's current term is set to expire in January of 2017. He will not be eligible for re-election in 2016 because state law restricts the lieutenant governor to a lifetime limit of two terms in office.


Denn was born February 9, 1966 in Wilmington, Delaware and grew up in suburban Hockessin in New Castle County. He moved to California during high school. A graduate with honors and student body president at the University of California, Berkeley, he received his law degree from Yale Law School in 1991.

Denn worked for two years with Delaware Volunteer Legal Services before entering private practice and becoming a partner with the law firm Young, Conaway, Stargatt & Taylor. In 1998, he was appointed chairman of Delaware's new Child Protection Accountability Commission, and has served on a number of boards and commissions, including Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Delaware, the Wilmington Civil Rights Commission, and the Kutz Home.

Denn has also worked as an adjunct professor at Widener University Law School in the area of constitutional law.[2]


  • University of California at Berkeley, Bachelor
  • Yale University, JD

Political career

Delaware Lieutenant Governor (2009-Present)

Denn won election as the Lieutenant Governor of Delaware in 2008, defeating Republican Charlie Copeland. His term in office, serving alongside Democratic Governor Jack Markell, began January 20, 2009.

Delaware Insurance Commissioner (2005-2009)

Denn was elected Delaware Insurance Commissioner in 2004. He defeated Karen Weldin Stewart in the Democratic primary election, and Republican Dave Ennis, who was at the time a member of the Delaware General Assembly from New Castle County, in the general election. He served until 2009, when he began his first term as Lieutenant Governor.

As commissioner, Denn focused on consumer protection, fighting to pass laws restricting credit scoring and unfair cancellation of homeowners insurance, as well as limiting increases to Delawareans' insurance rates.[2]

Legal Counsel, Office of the Governor (2001-2003)

As Governor Ruth Ann Minner's legal counsel from 2001 through 2003, Denn wrote several of the Governor's major legislative initiatives, such as the Patients Bill of Rights (regulating health insurance companies), anti-terrorism legislation, environmental legislation, and legislation protecting school teachers from lawsuits. He also represented the Governor on a variety of task forces, including the Governor's Strategic Economic Council and the Governor's Cancer Task Force.[2]


In Delaware, the governor and lieutenant governor are elected on separate tickets in both the primary and general elections.


See also: Delaware lieutenant gubernatorial election, 2012

Denn won re-election as Lieutenant Governor of Delaware in 2012. He ran unopposed in the Democratic primary on September 11, 2012. He defeated Sher Valenzuela (R) in the general election on November 6, 2012.[1]

Lieutenant Governor of Delaware General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngMatthew Denn Incumbent 61.6% 238,959
     Republican Sher Valenzuela 37.1% 143,978
     Libertarian Margie Waite-McKeown 1.3% 5,206
Total Votes 388,143
Election Results via Delaware State Board of Elections.


Denn was endorsed by the Barbara Gittings Delaware Stonewall Democrats.[4]


On November 4, 2008, Denn first won election to the lieutenant governorship. He defeated Republican Charlie Copeland and Blue Enigma Party candidate Peter Cullen.[5]

Denn raised $487,648 for his campaign. Copeland collected $555,874 in donations, and Cullen reported $0 in donations.[6]

Delaware Lieutenant Governor, 2008
Party Candidate Vote Percentage
     Democratic Party ApprovedaMatthew Denn 61.3%
     Republican Party Charles Copeland 38.7%
     Blue Enigma Party Peter Cullen 0.00% (92 total votes)
Total Votes 386,059


On November 2, 2004, Denn defeated Republican David H. Ennis to become Insurance Commissioner.[7]

Delaware Insurance Commissioner, 2004
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngMatthew Denn 52.8% 182,619
     Republican David H. Ennis 47.2% 163,027
Total Votes 345,646

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Denn is available dating back to 2004. Based on available campaign finance records, Denn raised a total of $1,545,319 during that time period. This information was last updated on July 8, 2013.[8]

Matthew Denn's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 Lieutenant Governor of Delaware Won $325,688
2010 Lieutenant Governor of Delaware Not up for election $45,523
2008 Lieutenant Governor of Delaware Won $487,648
2006 Delaware Insurance Commissioner Not up for election $218,098
2004 Delaware Insurance Commissioner Won $468,362
Grand Total Raised $1,545,319


Denn won re-election to the position of Lieutenant Governor of Delaware in 2012. During that election cycle, Denn raised a total of $325,688.


In 2008, when Denn first won election, he collected $487,648 in donations.[9] In Delaware, campaign finance laws limit single contributions to a statewide candidate to $1,200 per election period.[10]

The following organizations donated the maximum $1,200 in 2008:

  • Novartis Pharmaceuticals
  • United Distributors of Delaware
  • Valero Energy
  • Local 451 PAC
  • Westmont Associates, Inc.
  • Chateau Orleans
  • Silver Lake Office Plaza II

The following individuals donated the maximum $1,200 in 2008:

  • Robert Lewin
  • Wendi Haas
  • Jacqueline Miceli
  • Amy Kiefer
  • Zoe Roa
  • Brian Schultz
  • Rosalie Ableman
  • Gilbert Shelsby
  • Jay Eisenhofer
  • Bifferato Gentilotti
  • Paul Diconsiglio
  • Gary Hindes
  • Bruce Stargatt

2004 and 2008

Ballotpedia collects information on campaign donors for each year in which a candidate or incumbent is running for election. The following table offers a breakdown of Matthew Denn's donors each year.[11] Click [show] for more information.


He now lives in the North Star area, near Hockessin, Delaware with his wife, Michele, and twin children, Zachary and Adam.[2]

Recent news

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Contact information


Lieutenant Governor of Delaware:
Tatnall Building
3rd Floor
Dover, DE 19901

Phone: (302) 744-4333
Email: Matthew Denn

Online comments/suggestion form

See also

External links

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Political offices
Preceded by
John C. Carney, Jr. (D)
Lieutenant Governor of Delaware
2009 - present
Succeeded by