Earlier this week the Endorsement Committee of the Progressive Democrats of Delaware (http://www.progressivedemsdel.com/), of which I am co-chair, released their 2010 endorsements:
"Listed below are the PDD endorsements for the 2010 Primary election (those with Democratic Party opponents for the September 14th primary):
Richard Korn - Auditor
Rep. Helene Keeley – State Senate – 3rd District
James Maravelias – State Rep. – 27th District
The Committee found two races in which both candidates were strong progressives; therefore, we decided to await the Democratic voters' decision on September 14th. PDD shall endorse the winning candidate in the Democratic Primary race for:
State Treasurer - Chip Flowers or Velda Jones Potter and the
24th RD Representative - Kay Gallogly or Edward Osienski
Listed below are the PDD endorsements for the 2010 General election:
Chris Coons – U. S. Senate
Chris Counihan – State Senate - 5th District
Senator Karen Peterson – State Senate - 9th District
Senator Bruce Ennis – State Senate - 14th District
Rep. Gerald Brady – State Senate - 4th District
Debra Heffernan – State Rep. - 6th District
Rep. Bryon Short – State Rep. - 7th District
Rep. James (JJ) Johnson – State Rep. - 16th District
Rep. Terry Schooley – State Rep. - 23rd District
Rep. John Kowalko – State Rep. - 25th District
Jim Westhoff – State Rep. - 35th District
Renee Taschner - NCC Council - 3rd District
Lisa Diller - NCC Councilperson - 5th District
Mike Kozikowski - Recorder of Deeds
Obviously, any of the candidates we endorsed in the Primary who are victorious in their elections will be added to the list of endorsements for the General Election."
Let me add my two cents. First, this was a committee, and decisions were put to a vote. I voted with the majority in many cases, and in the minority in others. I firmly stand in support of the entire slate of PDD-endorsed candidates.
I'd like to address the two 'quasi-dual-endorsed' races. We found both Chip Flowers and Velda Jones Potter to be VERY supportive of PDD ideals, and we couldn't bring ourselves to endorse one and alienate the other. We therefore punted, by leaving it to the Democratic voters to determine who they would like to run against Republican Colin Bonini in November.
We faced the same conundrum for the 24th RD, where both Kay Gallogly and Ed Osienski are great candidates, and will make wonderful state reps. Note that retiring Republican Bill Oberle, from what I understand, is a nice guy, has been devoted to serving his constituents, and has been very supportive of many liberal causes in Dover during his tenure.
I'd like to next touch on a few of the new candidates. Chris Counihan is running against Republican incumbent Cathy Cloutier. He is a rock star as far as credentials. To meet him is to love him. Email email@example.com to learn about his September 7th fundraiser (6-8pm, only $10 for 5th Senate District residents, $100 for other supporters). His site is www.electchriscounihan.com
Debra Heffernan is president of the Brandywine School District (she would step down as President when elected), and is running against Republican incumbent Tom Kovach. Go to www.debraheffernan.com to learn more.
Jim Westhoff is running for the downstate 35th RD against Republican incumbent David Wilson. I and PDD worry that pointing out that Jim is a good guy could hurt him in this district. Go to http://jimwesthoff.org/ for more information. He notes that downstate 14th RD Representative Pete Schwartzkopf needs an ally in Dover on critical issues such as coastal wetland issues (for Republicans the solution is to pave these over).
Let me point to what I consider 'important races.' I think that incumbents such as John Kowalko are likely to win re-election easily, due to the incredibly good job that they have done in the past. There is value to having them have blowouts, as they can have a bigger impact in Dover as a result. Nonetheless, I try to focus on races where the outcome is likely much closer, and where YOUR time and money can make a real difference in the race's outcome.
Chris Coons is running for Joe Biden's old seat, currently held by the wonderful Ted Kaufman. Most likely he'll be running against Mike Castle, who has served DE since the dawn of time, and who in recent years has voted however the Republican Party instructs. This seat going over to the Republicans will make it MUCH harder to prevent the US Supreme Court from looking after the disenfranchised (including women). This will be close, and is VERY IMPORTANT.
Chris Counihan, by winning, can help tilt the Delaware state Senate away from its 'old boy' ways. Michael Katz's victory in 2008 helped a bit. Wonderful state senators such as Karen Peterson and Katz need allies to fight against the (closed-door) Delaware Way. If you are upset/embarrassed about how the 'Democratic' DE Senate works, help Chris get elected.
Rep. Bryon Short, while an incumbent, won in a close special election, and is 'vulnerable.' As a north Wilmington district, the Republican challenger will be well financed. Bryon can use your help--see www.bryonshort.com for more info.
Debra Heffernan--Like Chris Counihan, it is such a pleasure to meet Debra. She is so impressive. She would bring a great improvement to the culture in Dover. She is dedicated to constituents, and a 'roll-your-sleeves-up' problem solver, well grounded in the community.
State Treasurer--whoever wins the primary, Chip or Velda, they will need a lot of help to beat Republican Colin clue-less Bonini (there is no limit to what Bonini considers bad--but he has not a single solution to offer).
24th RD Representative--Again, whoever wins, Kay or Ed, will need help to beat the Republican challenger, who has the Republican party's financial backing to keep this seat in the R column, and Kay and Ed are both GREAT PEOPLE!
If you have very limited time and money to contribute, consider focusing on these six. If you have a bit more, ALL of these candidates, even those who will likely win comfortably, need a bunch of dollars and volunteer time to run their campaign, and will deeply appreciate your help.
Be warned--I plan to start regularly (weekly?) updating this blog, and perhaps issuing emails, on the upcoming elections.
Last note--Please reserve October 9th from 10am to 5pm for a candidate forum at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Newark (www.uufn.org). It should be a wonderful event.