Melanie George Smith Must Resign Immediately

State Representative Melanie George Smith is perpetuating a fraud on her district and on us.  She expects us to believe that she does not live with her young family at their new home in Newark, 5 miles outside her district.  She is lying.

“The Newark-area home is about 10 miles outside of Representative District 5, which she has represented since 2003.  Smith on Thursday confirmed that her family resides in the Newark-area home. But she insisted that she does not live there – at least most of the time.  “I live in a home in my district,” she said.  Four days before selling her house in Bear [back in September], the 44-year-old officially changed her address to a townhouse on South Tribbit Avenue, according to the Delaware Department of Elections.

That three-bedroom home in the Stone Mill neighborhood is located less than a half mile from her old home in Bear. The property is owned by Anthony F. Pennella, Smith’s campaign treasurer since at least 2013.  The townhouse is not licensed as a rental property, according to New Castle County officials. Pennella, a registered Republican, also lists the townhouse as his permanent address on state voter rolls.  Pennella on Thursday insisted Smith lives in the townhouse but declined to comment further.

“I don’t need to get into all that with you,” he said. “It’s none of your business.”

It is the business the residents and constituents of the 5th Representative District, who never see Melanie George Smith, their supposed Representative, at any civic events or meetings.   It is quite clear that Melanie George Smith is lying and is not living at this Bear home.  She fabricated a lease agreement and got her former Republican campaign treasurer to lie for her.   All so she can hold onto power in a district no longer her home.  If there were a way to remove her or fire her today, it should be done.  But that is not an option.   All we have is the integrity of Mrs. Smith forcing her to do the right thing and resign, but since she is engaged in this fraud, it is clear she has none.

I am pleased that Party Chair Erik Raser-Schramm is not running interference for her.  His statement: ““It is clear Rep. Smith was a full-time 5th District resident when she won re-election there in 2016, [b]ut it is also clear that circumstances surrounding her residency have changed and that should be a significant consideration as we approach 2018.”

Indeed.  She should be precluded from running in the 5th RD in 2018.   If Elaine Manlove decides to participate as a co-conspirator in Smith’s fraud by allowing her on the ballot in that district in 2018, then we need a progressive challenger to primary her, or, failing that, we must support the Republican in the fall.


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

15 comments on “Melanie George Smith Must Resign Immediately

  1. Terrible. Senators McBrides does the same thing. He dont live in his district, but nobody says anything about that.

  2. cassandram

    Good for Erik Raser-Schramm for not providing cover for this!

  3. I’ve seen this ever since moving to Delaware in 1974, at the end it boils down to is she in the district or not, would say it’s not even close.

  4. Can someone please explain what role, if any, Elaine Manlove, state elections commissioner holds? Is she the one who enforces the rules or is she a mere puppet?

    • cassandram

      This is a really good question. Because she is supposed to be the arbiter of who is following the rules. I just don’t know how far that goes.

  5. The Senate Pro Tem put his kids through Cape Schools for crying out loud. George is not gonna run again. Go clutch another set of pearls:)

    • This is a wonderful way to look at rule-breaking: If the rule was ever broken before, it no longer exists.

      You might want to get that jaundiced eye looked at by a doctor.

  6. waterpirate

    Ms. Manlove will not rule on this issue. She never does. After the Park City Cathy fiasco, Ms. Manlove laid out the election commissions policy on residency. If a candidate does not meet the residency requirements legally, it is the voters place to enforce the penalty.

  7. didn’t say it was ok just said that the moral high ground was drowned out by 15 years of crickets:)

    • OK. On that I agree. The Constitution only says you can’t run for office unless you have lived one year in the district. It says nothing about living there AFTER the election.

      • Then It would not matter if she lived in Maryland or Singapore.

        • Not that I can find, which doesn’t mean there isn’t a rule out there. It’s just not in the Constitution section on residency requirements.

  8. It is the meaningless, missing rules and regulations that make voters feel disenfranchised from the Democratic Party. Reading about the repeated blatant disregard for their constituents who put them in office is pathetic.

  9. cassandram

    Does anyone know of any state that is doing a good job at testing and managing its residency requirements? If there are best practices out there we should take a look at them and ask for them to be adopted here.

  10. elizabeth

    Delaware Democratic Party never takes on their own. How many times have they been told McDowell doesn’t live in his district? Karen Hartey Nagle taking funds from the son of the mother she was supposedly taking care of? She never had a pot to pee in, but Manlove and some dems bought that crazy skitz story. The son never gave her a dime for her candidacy, she rolled him and used the money for her campaign and now refuses to pay him back…..I know for a fact she didnt have a penny.

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