Does the Libertarian Candidate in the SD10 Special Election Help or Hurt Marino or Hansen?

Libertarian Joseph Lanzendorfer has announced that he will run in the anticipated special election in the 10th Senate District that will be scheduled once Senator and Lt. Governor-elect Bethany Hall-Long (D) resigns to take her new office on January 17. The special election will likely be scheduled in late February or early March. As the Democrats currently hold a 11-10 one seat majority, this special election will control the balance of power in the Senate.

From the News Journal:

In a news release announcing his candidacy, Lanzendorfer called for lowering taxes and eliminating useless regulations. He also called for giving more decision-making power in schools to local educators. “The federal government should not have the influence on our education community that they have today,” he said.

Lanzendorfer argues the war on drugs has caused prison costs to skyrocket. He argued taxation of cannabis and hemp could provide more school funding.

The question is whether Lanzendorfer will pull votes from the Republican, James Marino, or the Democrat, Stephanie Hansen. The last election in the 10th was in 2014, and Marino lost by 2 points to Hall-Long. So a close race in a low turnout special election could be affected by Lanzendorfer, especially if liberals are attracted to the Lanzendorfer’s legalization position while ignoring his other libertarian positions like ending all regulations and cutting taxes for the wealthy. That is why it is imperative that the General Assembly take the wind out of his sail and introduce legislation to legalize and tax marijuana in the first week.

9 comments on “Does the Libertarian Candidate in the SD10 Special Election Help or Hurt Marino or Hansen?

  1. I think he may hurt Hansen. Marino’s faithful are going to stay the same. If anything, he may have built up some. Lanzendorfer may pull the Bernie crowd over, if he doesn’t have any crazy right-wing ideas.

  2. If that is true then the Bernie crowd are not true progressives. Hansen is also pro legalization. Whereas Lanzendorfer is also a true libertarian, believing in no social safety net, no regulations, no taxes. The good news is that this is a special election, thus a low turnout affair. The Bernie Crowd cannot be trusted to turn out.

  3. cassandram

    I thought that MRH was going to introduce her legislation pretty soon. Don’t know if the Special might delay that though.

  4. snewton929

    Probably not much either way. I don’t know Lanzendorfer personally, but if you look at the precincts in the 10th Senate for the Libertarian vote that Scott Gesty got running for the US House in both 2014 and 2016, it suggests that he peaked at around 200 votes in 2016. Given the closeness of Hall-Long v. Marino in 2014 this would more than “cover the spread” between them, but I doubt it’s going to have that much of an impact this time around. The Gesty totals, especially in 2016 are indicative of a much higher overall total in those precincts for all candidates, and had the advantage of being driven by the strongest Libertarian Presidential candidate vote in history. The LPD traditionally only breaks the 2% barrier in State legislative races only when a D or R is running unopposed by a D or R–so there we see an upside of 9-12%. We haven’t seen an election in Delaware (including the heavily overspent Greg Lavelle election a few years back) where a Libertarian candidate covered the spread and had a demonstrable impact.

    I seriously doubt, with control of the Senate on the line, that too many Ds or Rs will pull the lever to make that body a 10-10-1 tie.

  5. I’m having trouble getting a feel for this race. Time to knock on some doors.

  6. This race is reminding me a lot of Hill V. Trump and that scares me. You have a GOP candidate who is saying that all of Delaware’s problems are to be blamed on the politicians, he also refers to himself as self made. The Dems chose a candidate that has a political background, and seems a bit too close to BHL so it seems there’s a bit of “it’s my turn now” going on, that may not be the case, but to a voter perception is the only thing that matters.

    • cassandram

      You know, it is awfully easy to claim to be self made when you have a gold-plated government pension to fall back on.

  7. Nobody should be able to say that that want to cut useless regulations without immediately being asked- which ones?

    • Sooooo true!

      That said, Repubs say that they want to get rid of Obamacare and people cheering that on have no idea what that means.

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