Government & Politics Headlines

Primary wins by Murray, Witzke set November races

Facing each other on Nov. 3 are Murray vs. Carney, Witzke vs. Coons, Hall vs. Hall Long, Murphy vs. Blunt Rochester.

NOTE: This story has been updated to say Sarah McBride will face Steve Washington Nov. 3.

With the number of mail-in ballots accounting for a huge percentage of votes, Gov. John Carney and U.S. Senator Chris Coons handily won their primaries Tuesday. Both are Democrats.

With all of Delaware’s 436 precincts reporting shortly after midnight Tuesday, the unofficial results say Republican winners were Lauren Witzke for U.S. Senate race, Republican Lee Murphy for U.S. Congress, Republican Julianne Murray for governor, and Democrat and incumbent Trini Navarro for insurance commissioner.

With their wins, Murray and Witzke join Donyale Hall, who is running unopposed for lieutenant governor, to put three women on the top of the Republican state ticket in November.

Murray will face Carney, Witzke will face Coons, Hall will face Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall Long, who had no primary opposition. Murphy will face U.S. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, who also had no Democratic opposition.

In Wilmington, Democrat and incumbent Mike Purzycki beat two challengers; Democrat Trippi Congo ousted incumbent Hanifa Shabazz in the Wilmington City Council president race; and Democrat Dwayne Sims won the city treasurer race. Democrat and incumbent Matt Meyer won New Castle County executive contest. Democrat and incumbent Karen Hartley-Nagle beat two others for the New Castle County Council president.

Democrat Sarah McBride became the first openly transgender candidate to win a primary, for the Senate District 1 seat. She faces Republican Steve Washington in November.

The votes did not appear to go in favor of several sitting state legislators: Marie Pinkney appeared to oust David McBride in Senate District 13; Larry D. Lambert Jr. seemed to beat Ray Siegfried in House District 7; Madinah Wilson-Anton had more votes than John J. Viola in House District 26; and Eric A. Morrison was overwhelmingly whipping Earl Jaques in House District 27.

See the numbers here.

Carney said earlier Tuesday that a record number of votes would be cast in the 2020 state primary because 62,000 Democrats had returned mail-in ballots, and a “significant number” of Republicans had, too. Jesse Chadderton, executive director of the Delaware Democratic Party, said that more than 73,000 mail-in ballots has been returned.

Tuesday night, with all 436 precincts in, the state Department of Elections said voter turnout was 32.26 percent with 177,519 of the state’s registered 550,288 voters casting a ballot. It did not say how many mail-in ballots were cast.

While supporters of mail-in ballots said it would guarantee every voter a right to cast a ballot without fear of being infected by COVID-19 while standing in line, opponents argued there was no reason to offer them when people could choose absentee ballots.

“I think it’s going to prove to be certainly critically important, allow people to vote safely in a pandemic situation and then, as a matter of Democracy, just having more people the access to vote,” Carney said Tuesday during his weekly coronavirus press conference.


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