US Senator Chris Coons, D-Del. And Governor John Carney easily won their Democratic primary battle in the First State on Tuesday.
Carney prevailed against David Lamar Williams Jr. and Coons defeated progressive activist and political newcomer Jessica Scarane to qualify for the November general election.
Carney has said he wants to keep working on racial justice issues. He also said he wanted to strengthen public schools, improve infrastructure in Delaware, and rehabilitate the state’s waterways. Carney was elected governor in 2016 after serving three terms in the U.S. home. He served two terms as lieutenant governor from 2001
Coons has served in the Senate since winning a special election in 2010 to fill the seat vacated by Joe Biden when he was elected Vice President in 2008. Coons was re-elected for a full six-year term in 2014. He has built a reputation for being bipartisan, although he usually votes with other Democrats. Scarane criticized Coons for being too eager to compromise with Republicans.
Six candidates compete in the Republican gubernatorial primary amid GOP dissatisfaction with how Carney has handled the state’s coronavirus response. Lawyer and political newcomer Julianne Murray, who sued Carney in federal court for his coronavirus restrictions, is the GOP’s backed-up candidate.
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Attorney James DeMartino and conservative activist Lauren Witzke vie for the GOP Senate nomination. Witzke has denied allegations made by some opponents that she supports QAnon, a far-right conspiracy theory popular with some supporters of Republican President Donald Trump.
In the Republican primary for US House, actor and retired Amtrak conductor Lee Murphy, who narrowly lost the House primary two years ago, appeared against newcomer Matthew Morris. The winner will meet reigning Democrat Lisa Blunt Rochester in November.
At the state level, voters had a unique opportunity to disrupt the political status quo and change the development of the Democratic Party in the all-blue state. Democratic incumbents faced challengers in seven General Assembly races this year, more than twice as many as in the 2018 primary.
Many of this year’s challengers were inspired by the growing progressive movement within the Democratic Party at the national level, hiring incumbents who had served in the legislature for decades.
Officials had estimated that half of the votes cast on Tuesday would be in the mail because of the coronavirus. In June, state lawmakers approved a bill authorizing general voting through mail-in primary, general, and special elections.
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As of Friday, nearly 57,000 Democrats, or approximately 16.3% of registered Democrats in Delaware, had cast ballots by mail or absenteeism, compared with around 11,500 Republicans, which is only about 5.7% of registered GOP voters.
By comparison, the 2018 primary voter turnout was 25.4% for Democrats and 19.7% for Republicans. In the primary school in 2016 it was 20% and 16% respectively.
Meanwhile, the state’s Republican Party has filed a lawsuit in the Chancellery Court urging a judge to declare the new postal voting law unconstitutional and to issue an injunction preventing universal postal voting in the November general election . The state’s response is due on Wednesday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.