Ralph Taylor, a Democrat candidate for the 31st District Representative Primary, just unleashed a tirade against the Delaware State Education Association over what he alleges are unfair practices for endorsements.
For those of you who may have seen an endorsement for my opponent from the Delaware State Education Association, I wanted to share with you the clarification that it is not that my opponent beat me in get this endorsement, but that policy did not afford me the opportunity to receive it.
“I want to clear up our process for endorsing candidates. Our executive board sets the guidelines we follow when we interview and endorse candidates. You are in a race where your opponent has earned friendly incumbent status with DSEA. This is based on his record in the past on our issues. That means we do not interview the opponents in that race. I have no doubt that you are a strong advocate for public education and our members. I would hope that if you win we could work together to make public education the best for all students. I just wanted you to understand that you were not overlooked. I hope you understand that this is our process and if you were elected and earned friendly incumbent status with DSEA you would receive the same support.” – Mike Hoffman, DSEA Staff
Taylor is running against incumbent State Rep. Sean Lynn for the Democrat Primary. On the Republican side, David Anderson is facing off against Jean Dowding. It is one of the few State Representative races in Delaware where both parties have a primary.
Taylor serves as a member of the Capital School District Board of Education. Lynn is on the House Education Committee and has written or co-sponsored education legislation that certainly aligns with a push against the Markellian practices that invaded public education during his two terms as Governor including high-stakes testing and punishing schools and teachers for the scores on those test. Logically, it would stand to reason DSEA would endorse Lynn. It is not a state secret that DSEA is pro-incumbent when it comes to education legislation they support.
This isn’t the first time I’ve heard this type of allegation against DSEA. It tends to come out when someone does not get an endorsement. In other words, you have to earn your chops with DSEA. I can say putting out a Facebook screed complaining about DSEA is most likely not going to win you any favors with them. Just saying! You take it on the chin and move on. I ran for Capital School Board back in 2016 and I did not get endorsed by their local education association. I did not go on social media complaining about it. Ultimately, I lost that election but so did the candidate DSEA did endorse for that race.
The 31st State Rep District is in the heart of Dover. In recent weeks, Republicans have been urging Democrats to vote for Taylor. In the 2014 race, Lynn beat Republican Sam Chick. Chick has been plugging away on Facebook with anti-Lynn rants for several weeks. It is one of the oddest races going on in Delaware right now. Taylor, a long-time Democrat, has openly told folks in Dover, including myself, he wasn’t sure which party he would file with to run against Lynn both in 2016 and this year. Like I said, it has been an odd race.
Full disclosure: My son attends the Capital School District and I have used Lynn’s professional services as an attorney so this article is not indicative of who I would vote for in this race. Furthermore, I do not reside in the 31st State Representative District. I did tell both candidates that because of the two above potential “conflicts of interest” I would not endorse for this race. I have also had several conversations with Republican candidate David Anderson and find him to be a very knowledgeable person. But the attacks against Sean Lynn on social media have put me in a position to defend him. As Chick continued his bizarre crusade against Lynn on the Rick Jensen Show today, I called in to defend Lynn and publicly stated even Dover Republicans feel he is going too far.