Red Clay Superintendent Race Down To Three

In the coming months, Red Clay Consolidated School District will have a new Superintendent.  All indications are pointing to three final candidates.  Who are they? Continue reading

The ONE Thing No Delaware Legislator Or Candidate Will Touch During Election Season

The Delaware General Election is in five days.  As citizens of The First State cast our votes, we think of many issues that affect how we decide.  It could be education or taxes or environmental issues.  Many of us vote just for the political party we belong to.  But there is one thing that no Delaware elected official or candidate will even whisper because of the firestorm that will be unleashed upon them if they do. Continue reading

Guest Post By Eric Morrison: Primary’s Record Democratic Voter Turnout- A Cause For Celebration Or Concern?

As many are dealing with the ramifications of the Delaware Primary, one reader felt there were reasons for how some votes were cast.  Without further ado, Eric Morrison from Newark has the floor: Continue reading

To The Winners And Losers Of The Delaware Primary

Today is the big day you have all been waiting for!  You’ve travelled and talked more in the past few months than some of  you have ever done in your life.  Some of you will win today and some will lose.  But I have some advice for the losers- DON’T GIVE UP!

A few months ago I went through all Delaware elections going back to 1970.  So many of our legislators and elected officials lost once, sometimes even twice.  But they persevered and kept going.  This was echoed by many of the legislators that retired this year as they gave their farewell speeches in the General Assembly.

I understand it will be crushing.  Some of you might have thought you were going to win but there could be some upsets today.  From the top of the ticket to the bottom, the people will vote how they vote.  The best thing to do is rest and reformulate for the future.  But DON’T GIVE UP!

To the winners- keep going.  Most of you have a General Election in November.  It isn’t over yet!  Keep your campaign clean.  Make sure the money you accept from organizations is something you believe in.  If not, just send it back!  Talk about your qualifications instead of bashing your opponent.  Keep your chin up and smile.  Talk to the people, not at them.  Door-knock as much as you possibly can.  Send out mailers if you can.  Write letters to the editor.  Be approachable and kind.

To ALL the candidates (even you Miss Congeniality), I wish you the best of luck today!  I will anxiously await the results along with you this evening.  It all changes tomorrow!

Calling ALL Delaware Primary Candidates!

With 3 days until the Delaware Primary, I know all of you are scrambling as candidates.  You want to get your message out as loud and clear as you can.  This is your chance.  I know some of the newspapers have deadlines for letters to the editor.  I want to hear from you and so do the people of Delaware.  This is what I am proposing: you can write anything you want about your candidacy and I will post it.  I don’t care if it is one paragraph or a book.  I’ll post it!  There is no word limit!  There is only one rule- I don’t want you to bash on your opponent(s).  I want you to tell the readers what YOU will do in your elected position.  What are your ideas to make Delaware better?

This is for ALL offices up for a primary in Delaware.  Down to the local level and up to Congress.

Please submit your posts to kevino3670@yahoo.com and in Word if you are able.  If not, I’ll figure it out.  I can get them up relatively fast.  And to be completely fair, I will just put your post up and no opinions about it whatsoever.  If you want to include a picture of yourself, feel free!  Thank you!

Campaign Craziness Hits Delaware!

In less than four weeks, Delawareans will hit the polls to vote in the primary election.  Meanwhile, candidates are starting to draw blood from their opponents.  The past week has seen more insanity than I’ve seen in, well, two years!

First off, the whole sign thing… don’t steal, mangle, or draw graffiti on campaign signs.  It is petty and stupid.  Is it really worth getting arrested if you don’t like someone?  If you want to, sure, do it.  But it can’t be worth the time and money.  Write a letter to the editor.  Rant on Facebook.  But don’t mess with campaign signs!  I saw someone’s sign the other day and it looked like it fell.  It was a big sign.  I could have fixed it but instead I called the candidate and let them know.  The last thing I need is a state trooper driving by as I’m trying to fix a sign.  Because it could easily look like I’m messing with it.

Don’t go looking on Delaware Court Connect to find old financial stuff on candidates.  Not everyone is wealthy.  Not everyone is immune to financial hardship in their lives.  And it may not always be accurate.  Or perhaps some disputed something at some point.  I don’t mind candidates having financial issues at some point in their lives.  It shows they understand the issues many Delawareans face!  Delaware State News did this with a candidate in Kent County the other day but when people cried foul they took it down.

In the coming days, you will hear people talking about the 30 day primary campaign finance reports.  These show how much the candidates have raised in donations and how much they have spent.  Some folks automatically assume that those with the most money will win.  That isn’t always the case.  Even if someone has over $100,000 in their war chest, it only means they know how to target people with money.  Money talks but so does qualifications.  I’m talking to you Mrs. Rehoboth!  A guy named Jesus didn’t get to be who he became by getting money from those who have it.  He hung out with the poor and downtrodden.  Now he is a household name!

These are the days where Facebook becomes a war of words.  Screenshots are gold for opponents!  You will see pictures of candidates doing selfies with babies and baby kangaroos!  Any shot of a candidate with another elected official seems to carry some kind of special meaning.  Once again, that doesn’t mean squat.  It means you are good at taking pictures.

Citizens of Delaware- know your candidates!  Seek them out!  Ask them questions!  Don’t believe everything their opponent says.  See their websites or Facebook pages.  But most important, vote on September 6th!  Vote with a clear conscience.  That is your constitutional right.  If they have a forum, go to it.

If you support a candidate, give them as much time and devotion that you have available.  Help them door-knock and canvas.  March with them in a parade.  Engage with them.  For incumbent legislators facing a primary vote, look at their FULL record.

FINAL LIST of Delaware Filed Candidates for State Attorney General, State Auditor, State Treasurer, State Representative, State Senator, U.S. Representative and U.S. Senator

This is a list of the FINAL candidates for both the Delaware Primary and the Delaware General Election.  I will be coming out with endorsements in the next few weeks.

Election Day 2018 is three and a half months away.  The Primary is in less than two months.

Dates to know:

9/6/18: Delaware Primary

11/6/18: Delaware General Election

Last updated: 7/10/2018, 11:38am

Continue reading

** UPDATED ** 7/10/2018, 11:38am ** Delaware Election 2018: Who Filed For State Rep, State Senator, AG, State Auditor, State Treasurer, U.S. Senator & U.S. Representative

This is a list of the FINAL candidates for both the Delaware Primary and the Delawware General Election.  I will be coming out with endorsements in the next few weeks.

Election Day 2018 is four months away.  The Primary is in two months.  Candidates have until this Friday, the 13th, to withdraw and get their filing fee back.

For each elected position, if it is in red it is currently Republican, and blue for Democrat.  If there is more than one person in the same color for each position, that means there will be a primary for that party on Thursday, September 6th.  Winner goes onto the General Election.  If they are unopposed, they won and can sit back while the rest have two more months of campaigning!.  If it is crossed out, that means a candidate dropped out of the race.  Every single seat or position has someone running for it at this point.

Dates to know:

7/10/18: Last date to file for major parties

9/6/18: Delaware Primary

11/6/18: Delaware General Election

Last updated: 7/10/2018, 11:38am

Continue reading

ALL The Delaware School Board Election Results

A day that saw victory and defeat for many ended at 8pm last evening as the polls closed for another school board election season.  Below are the results for all the Delaware school board elections.  Congrats to the victors.  For those who lost, I’ve been there.  It sucks.  You just have to pick yourself up again and move on.  Some run again and some we don’t hear from again in that arena.  Voter turnout was mixed in some districts.  Altogether though, given the population of various districts and the importance of local school board elections, they could all use more citizens voting.

Using Capital as an example, 239 votes were cast.  Capital has over 5,000 students.  It is in the heart of Dover.  Turnout last year was around the 500 mark.  Folks say signs don’t vote, which could be true, but they also bring constant awareness about the election date.  Last year, myself and my two opponents littered the town with campaign signs.  This year, I barely saw any.  I heard some say they knew nothing about either of the candidates so why even bother voting.  That is when you seek that candidate out if they don’t have an online presence.

I spent the evening up in Red Clay territory.  Both of the schools I went to had events going on that night.  Not in an attempt to dissuade voters, but to draw more people out to vote.  As a result, Red Clay had the largest number of voters out of all the districts with over 2,100 votes cast.  In my eyes, that is still low turnout given Red Clay’s student population, but it shows how community participation can lead to higher numbers in an election.

We need to elect our State Board of Education members like this.  None of this “Governor appointed” stuff.  Statewide elections, for each seat.

Without further ado, here are the “unofficial” results of the 2017 Delaware School Board elections.

Appoquinimink

Charlisa Edelin: 301 votes, Keinna McKnight: 206, Trevor Tucker: 24 votes

Brandywine

John Skrobot III: 402 votes, Alma Melina Gillis: 332

Caesar Rodney

David Failing: 495, Tawanna Prophet-Brinkley: 126, Alan Claycomb: 57

Capital

Joan Loewenstein-Engel: 154, Andy Ortiz: 85

Christina, District B

Angela Mitchell: 480, Justin Day: 457, Monica Moriak: 232, Karen Sobotker: 72

Christina, District G

Meredith Griffin Jr.: 828, Jeff Day: 369, Kimara Smith: 170

Lake Forest

Phillip Thomas: 294, Stephanie Justiano Johnson: 220, Austin Auen: 59

Milford

Ronald Evans: 227, Michael McKain: 124, Jason Miller: 96, Michael Firch: 79, Michael Wells: 52

Red Clay

Ashley Sabo: 1,142, Henry Clampitt: 833, Thomas Pappenhagen: 152

Seaford

Michael Kraft: 314, John Hanenfeld: 198

Smyrna

Vetra Evans-Gunter: 292, Karin Sweeney: 31

Woodbridge

Paul Breeding: 209, Darrynn Harris: 11

Delaware School Board Election 2017 Survey: Seaford

In this last of the School Board candidate surveys, we have Seaford School District Board of Education candidates.  Actually, make that just one!  Even though there is a race, with John Hanenfeld facing Michael Kraft, only one of the candidates responded.  I appreciate all the work the candidates took to fill out these surveys.  Life is busy, whether you are running for a school board or not.  With that being said, I will be coming out with an article later tonight with my endorsements for many races.  This respondent will NOT receive an endorsement from me.  Why?  Read the answers to the survey questions.  I don’t expect people to agree with me.  In fact, it would make this blog useless if everyone did because there would be no need for it.  But everyone is certainly entitled to their opinions. Continue reading

Delaware School Board Election 2017 Surveys: Appoquinimink

First off, I want to apologize.  I should have had the remaining surveys up on Friday morning.  What happened?  Life.  It happens!  But my apologies to the remaining respondents who took the time to diligently answer my 14 question survey.  I do have one more district to cover after this one.  I should have that up shortly.  In this round, we have Appoquinimink.  The candidates are incumbent board member Charlisa Edlin, Keinna McKnight, and Trevor Tucker.  Only one of the candidates responded to my survey.  Which one? Continue reading

Delaware School Board Election 2017 Survey: Lake Forest and Milford School Districts

Lake Forest and Milford School Districts in lower Delaware have big races for the 2017 School Board Election.  In Lake Forest, there is a three-way race between Austin Auen, Phillip Thomas, and Stephanie Justiano Johnson.  For Milford, an epic five-way race has Ronald Evans, Michael Firch, Jason Miller, Michael McKain, and Michael Wells vying for the At-Large seat.  Milford has another open seat in Area D, but only Judith Purcell filed so she gets the board seat.

I reached out to the candidates in all the Delaware school districts.  For Lake Forest, I received a response back from Austin Auen.  For Milford, Ronald Evans and Michael McKain responded.  I used the contact information on the Kent County Department of Elections website as well as combing through Facebook.  I also gave “public notice” about the surveys on this blog if I did not have contact information.  I want to thank those who did respond with great answers to tough questions.  Don’t forget to vote on May 9th! Continue reading

Delaware School Board Election 2017: Brandywine, Caesar Rodney, Capital, Smyrna, & Woodbridge School Districts

May 9th is in five days!  Big school board elections are taking place that day!

In the Brandywine School District, John Skrobot Jr. will face Alma Ginnis.  For Capital School District, Andy Ortiz and Joan Lowenstein-Engel are vying for the at-large seat.  Caesar Rodney has a three-way race with Alan Claycomb, Tawanna Prophet-Brinkley, and David Failing running against each other.  Smyrna will see Vetra Evans-Gunter facing Karin Sweeney.  Finally, Woodbridge will have a face-off between Paul Breeding and Darrynn Harris for their at-large seat.

I sent surveys to all the candidates who had viable contact information through either the Department of Elections contact information on their website or through Facebook.  Don’t forget to vote on May 9th!

These are the responses I received from the candidates in these five districts: Continue reading

Delaware School Board Election 2017 Surveys: Red Clay Consolidated School District

In Red Clay, three candidates are vying for the District “C” seat for the Red Clay Consolidated Board of Education.  Henry Clampitt, Thomas Pappenhagen and Ashley Sabo are the three.  One candidates, James Starzman, withdrew shortly after filing.  Clampitt did not return a survey, but Pappenhagen and Sabo did.  One of these three will replace current board member Kenny Rivera.  Don’t forget to vote on May 9th!  Christina went up before this, and more will be coming later tonight or tomorrow morning.  Once again, I want to thank all the respondents for the time they took in coming up with answers to some very tough questions. Continue reading

Last Chance For School Board Candidates To Submit Surveys

This is a final plea to all Delaware School Board candidates to get their surveys into me by midnight tonight.  Many of you are involved in a race for a board seat.  Many of your opponents already submitted their surveys.  Many of you won’t have an opportunity to reach a large part of your district by not submitting a survey.  Many teachers vote in school board elections.  Many teachers read Exceptional Delaware.  Many school board elections can have very close votes.  Do you want to prevent yourself from tipping the scales in your favor?  Get your surveys in by midnight tonight please!  You can email it to me at kevino3670@yahoo.com by midnight tonight.  The post should go up by tomorrow.  Coming back after the fact with your survey after seeing the other candidates answers will not result in my publishing your survey!  Thank you!

And yes, I would love for EVERY candidate to submit their survey.  Especially you HC!

School Board Candidates: Important Message!

For all the candidates for the 2017 Delaware School Board elections, I am extending the due date for the surveys until 5pm on Monday, May 2nd.  I’ve received several already so I thank those candidates.  I would love to get every candidate’s survey, but I am also realistic.  It is a great way to get your viewpoints out to a wider audience in your district.  My email is kevino3670@yahoo.com and I wish all of you the best of luck on May 9th!

Delaware Democrats Eat Their Own

piranha

Watching Delaware Democrats go after each other during primary time is amazing to watch in real time.  It’s like watching piranha at feeding time.  They eviscerate each other.  But then when the primary is over, they stand behind the selected candidate with unswayable loyalty, for the most part.  I don’t see this as much with Delaware Republicans, but then again they seem to be more careful about having too many candidates in any given race.  I disagreed with a letter sent out by the Delaware Democrat Party Chair, John Daniello, a couple of months ago.  This letter asked candidates to consider why they were truly running.  This angered many candidates and their supporters, but after seeing some of the stuff I’ve seen, I can see where he was coming from.

This is the kind of stuff that creates decades-long resentments.  It can’t be good for the party.  I try not to get into political conversation too much unless it relates to education in some way.  But watching legislators who are usually close allies go against each other over which candidate is best is not good in the long-term.  I respect their right to back a candidate, but some of them are relentless.  We all do it in one way or another.  Party loyalty is only there when it suits someone.  The election process has to be the most cutthroat system out there.  And it’s usually not the candidates themselves who are doing it but their supporters.

In eight days, the playing field will be leveled.  And then we see the opposite: party supporters going after the other party.  I expect this to be a whirlwind next couple of months.  Things are likely to get ugly.  What is always unreal is watching those who blast a primary candidate but when that candidate wins they become the best thing since sliced bread.

I will come out with more endorsements, playing right along with this crazy election season.  I’ll talk about why I don’t think so and so is a good candidate or why that person is better.  I’ll go to some of the debates and hopefully get to ask a question or two.  I’m sure there will be some huge controversy around a candidate or eight.  It’s what we do in Delaware.  We eat each other alive and then wonder why nothing ever gets done in the state.  As I’ve said before, I don’t swear absolute fealty to either party.  I’m an issues guy, not a one or the other guy.

If I have a beef with a candidate, I will give a long and detailed explanation as to why and back it up with reference material.

Just my thoughts on what I’m seeing out there… Kevin