Breaking: AG Matt Denn Won’t Seek Reelection

This is some disappointing news, unless it means he is going to primary John Carney for Governor in two years.

Democratic Party State Chairman Erik Raser Schramm: “Matt Denn has been one of Delaware’s most impactful leaders during his 12 years in public service, with an action-oriented approach to governing across a number of important roles. Like so many of the Delawareans for whom he has fought, I am sad to learn he will not be seeking another term as Attorney General, where he has played such an important role in stemming the tide of our state’s addiction epidemic, targeting nuisance properties in our most vulnerable communities, and keeping Delawareans safe, while also helping reform our criminal justice system. Even though he will no longer be serving in an elected capacity following next year, I am confident he will continue to lead on these issues and others in whatever his next role may be, and I wish him luck in that endeavor.

As Chairman of the Delaware Democratic Party, I am also grateful to Matt for announcing this decision so early, because I think it gives interested public servants the opportunity to thoughtfully evaluate what they can bring to the Attorney General’s job, and whether they wish to run for the seat. And I’m confident that open process will result in a tremendous Democratic nominee next September that can build on Matt’s work, while bringing their own fresh thinking to the Delaware Department of Justice.”

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

7 comments on “Breaking: AG Matt Denn Won’t Seek Reelection

  1. Sad to see Denn go but can hardly blame him.

    Let the piling on of terrible and unqualified candidates for this office, begin!

  2. HyperbolicDem

    This wasn’t hard to see coming, considering the lack of higher offices available and the surplus of office holders not going anywhere/ candidates at that level.

    Also, purely out of curiosity, how did Denn become the progressive standard bearer in Delaware? I cannot name an instance where he really stood out as a progressive. That is not a bad thing, just wondering how he got that reputation.

    • Unlike his peers, he never did things that were specifically anti-progressive. When everyone else is kneeling, you don’t have to be very tall to stand out.

      • HyperbolicDem

        Good point. So, basically, he didn’t do progressive things as much as not do un-progressive things.

      • I’m going to have to disagree with that. Denn has pushed hard for mandatory minimums and against the rewrite of the criminal code. While he has made a few modest reforms, those have been counterbalanced by his push to incarcerate more people and for longer periods of time. He pays lip service to the idea of reducing the prison population, but then does all he can to increase it. Not a fan.

        • The whole point of practically forcing Denn to take this job was to smear his progressive cred, which certainly outshines that of his contemporaries Carney and Markell. And, clearly, it worked.

    • You can start with his beating our Karen Weldin Stewart for Insurance Commissioner. And he did it without taking money from insurance interests. He was pretty aggressive in regulating the parts of the industry that he could — homeowner’s insurance, auto and workers comp. He didn’t do much that the industry wanted — he was fairly focused on what the people in Delaware needed though. Which included a very forward constituent service operation — he wasn’t afraid to impose fines on companies that didn’t pay attention to the rules. It is hard to make a name for yourself as Lt. Gov, but he did spend a good deal of his time focused in on projects to help children and was pretty key in making sure Delaware’s ARRA money was spent well.

      It is tougher to be a progressive champion as AG since you are the state’s lawyer and the state has laws on the books you have to defend. Still, he tried to stand with Wilmington when Dennis Williams was playing his violin.

      Plus unlike lots of other Democratic office holders, Denn made a point to get to know the state’s progressives and tried to help where he could. But in getting to know this group of people, you did come to understand that his heart was largely with you and he try to promote progressive values where he could. He was no where near perfect at that, but he is still the best of the limited progressive bunch in Dover,

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