Delaware

Dems Gain in Senate, House Remains the Same

The headline might turn out to be true nationally in this “Lack of a Red Wave” midterm election. Republican tears tonight are delicious.

Statewide, the Democrats sweep all the races, with Lisa Blunt Rochester winning reelection to Congress by 13 points, Attorney General Kathy Jennings winning reelection by 8 points, Lydia York replacing the convicted felon Kathy McGuinness by winning the Auditor’s race by 9 points, and Treasurer Colleen Davis winning reelection by 8.

You will notice the margins in these races are smaller than I predicted yesterday or normally expected, and I think we can chalk it up to the decline in Democratic turnout in 2022. Turnout was 43%. In 2018, also a midterm year, turnout was 51%. In a presidential year, it was 71%.

In the 6th Senate District, Democrat Russ Huxtable defeated Republican Representative Stephen Smyk 51% to 48%. This gives Democrats a crucial seat downstate, and expands their Senate majority to 15-6.

Senate President Pro Tem Dave Sokola calling Senator-Elect Russ Huxtable to congratulate him. Photo Credit: Senator Sarah McBride

And that is because the Democrats held Bruce Ennis’ old seat in the 14th SD, with Democrat Kyra Hoffner defeating Republican Mark Pugh 52% to 58%. I am happy to be wrong here, as I didn’t think Hoffner could win in a Republican wave year down there, but it turns out the Republican wave did not appear.

All other Senate incumbents of both parties (though technically Eric Buckson is not an incumbent) held their seats for their parties.

In the House, everything stayed the same as the parties exchanged seats downstate. In the 4th RD, which was a Wilmington district moved to Sussex County due to redistricting after the census, saw Republican Jeff Hilovsky win by a healthy margin (57-40%) over Democratic Keegan Worley. So the 4th goes from blue to red, even though the seat is in a different location.

In the 20th RD, Democrat Stell Parker Selby defeated Dallas Wingate 51 to 49%. This is the Milton seat that Stephen Smyk vacated to lose his race for the Senate. It now finally goes blue.

So the House margin stays at 26 Democrats and 15 Republicans, because once again, Republican Mike Ramone held on, this time by the thinnest of margins. He won by 35 votes over Democrat Frank Burns in the 21st RD. Like I said yesterday, I will believe Ramone is going to lose after it happens, because this guy has obviously made a deal with Satan to keep him in office forever. Frank Burns ran a terrific campaign and he deserves our thanks.

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

4 comments on “Dems Gain in Senate, House Remains the Same

  1. Peter Briccotto

    Statewide, the DEMs have got to start waking up that the influx of retirees locating to Delaware lean RED & VOTE. The pocket of Rehoboth saved Russ {great campaign btw} as did Selby’s great local connections driving folks to the polls to support her. However, many of the people living in the Beach Burbs will not be supporting Democrats in this state.

    I didn’t have time to look, but I am curious how many more ballots were cast in 2022 compared to 2010 or 2014. It may show data worth considering.

    If Dems want to improve their winning margins, more must be done is Sussex to build a big tent coalition of Democrats.

  2. Anne Allen

    So true. I live in the Bethany area, which is the 38th, and the vast majority of the new voters here are Republican. Rehoboth and Lewes are sweet pockets of Dems, not the rest of the county, and certainly not western Sussex. Sue Clifford ran a fantastic campaign in Seaford….she was everywhere and she had clear ideas about issues. She lost big time. The state party and our state politicians….and other Dems…..need to pay attention to what’s happening in Sussex County. The red around here has a way of creeping north. Not too long ago, this area was blue too.

    • Joe Connor

      There is hope for the 38th! I lived in the district from ’85 to ’09 It had a Democratic Rep until “02. I still have property, relatives and business interests in the district. the 2020 lines have compressed the district and there is less rural and more high end residential population. Yes there is a lot of red but there is also untapped blue. There are more and more DC Northern Virginia folks settling in what had previously been their second homes as well as a good universe of year-round settlers in communities like Bayside and Bear Trap etc. There are good Democrats in the District, sadly we just lost Rita Hughes. With a bit of support from the State Party and some organizing on the ground Ron Gray could get a run for his money in ’24. ast to the Seaford race the Democratic candidate probably should have read the story of Sisyphus! Plant seeds where they will grow. the ground is improving in the 38th.

  3. Worth noting that the 21st RD will go into an automatic recount. It’s unclear if there will be enough votes to make up the difference, but #democracy.

    Frank Burns ran a helluva race–we’re not going to give up on him or the 21st, pending the outcome of the recount.

    For reference:
    e) If the number of votes separating a candidate and the closest opposing candidate in an election for State Senator, State Representative, or county office is less than 1,000 votes or 1/2 of 1% of all votes cast for the 2 candidates, whichever is less, the Court shall recount the ballots cast in that election at state expense. ( https://delcode.delaware.gov/title15/c057/index.html )

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