Editorial: News Journal endorses major Delaware races

Delaware’s election season has, with the possible exception of the New Castle County executive Democratic primary, lacked surprises.

That in itself is not a surprise, considering the Democratic Party’s grip on major offices in the state.

With that in mind, we offer our endorsements for the four most closely watched Delaware races: governor, congressman, New Castle County executive and Wilmington mayor.

Governor: John Carney, Democrat

The aforementioned party dominance means Carney’s move from Congress to the governor’s mansion is all but assured.

The hurdles facing the governor have been well illuminated. State government is faced with cutting some $167 million from its budget. The state's economy needs to see continued progress in entrepreneurial investment, but also must realize the potential of larger projects like a possible port expansion or redevelopment of the Boxwood GM site.

Directly related to the future our economy is the future of our public schools. The challenge for Carney is to transform decades-worth of rhetoric into meaningful action.

“Action” is the key word for Carney and his administration. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: If Delaware is going to fix its problems, its lawmakers need to act decisively. The “Delaware Way” should stand for progress, not apathy.

Not only is Carney familiar with state government – having once served as state finance director – he’s also, as a longtime resident, immersed in the problems facing Wilmington. That should bode well for the future of our largest city.

Congress: Lisa Blunt Rochester, Democrat

Unlike Carney, whose House seat she is filling, Blunt Rochester faced a contested primary. Her victory over Sean Barney and Bryan Townsend surprised some, if only for the ease with which she won.

The daughter of former Wilmington City Council President Ted Blunt, she previously served as Delaware labor secretary under Gov. Tom Carper and state personnel director under Gov. Ruth Ann Minner.

Blunt Rochester was the first African-American woman in those positions and would become Delaware’s first person of color and female member of Congress.

She would bring a wealth of international experience to the national stage, having lived previously in China and done work with those in the Middle East and Africa.

Blunt Rochester touts her ability to solve problems. We’re certain Congress will provide her with plenty of work to do.

New Castle County executive: Matt Meyer, Democrat

Meyer slogged through one of the most bizarre primary runs in recent memory. He deserves credit for mobilizing support and defeating a well-established incumbent like Tom Gordon.

Meyer believes that New Castle County government needs a cultural overhaul. A strong advocate of transparency, Blake wants county residents to know exactly where their money is being spent. He also wants to end “backroom deals” or the appearance thereof.

On that, Meyer is absolutely correct. The soap operas of county government in recent years have cost taxpayers money and diverted resources away from meaningful work.

While Republican nominee Mark Blake would bring more county-specific experience to the role, Meyer's approach has a chance to bring a more sweeping improvement to the county operation.

Among Meyer’s biggest obstacles will be those county employees who remain extremely loyal to Gordon. Meyer’s first true test will be uniting all county workers, regardless of political allegiances.

Mayor Wilmington: Mike Purzycki, Democrat

We did not endorse Purzycki in the Democratic primary.  But in the general election, he is the only viable candidate.

Purzycki’s challenge, first and foremost, is to embrace the entire city of Wilmington. Through words and actions, he needs to make all Wilmingtonians feel loved, from Hilltop to Southbridge to Trolley Square to the Westside and everywhere in between.

He needs to immediately enact a comprehensive plan to make Wilmington safer for all law-abiding citizens.

Purzycki has a proven record of relationships with the business and non-profit worlds. We are counting on those relationships to help bring much-needed jobs and educational opportunities to a city desperate for an influx of hope.

The News Journal editorial board includes President and Publisher Susan Leath, Vice President of News David Ledford, engagement editors Jason Levine and Carron Phillips, and reporter Esteban Parra.

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