While the Democratic Party took a hit at the national level, Delaware Gov. Jack Markell said now it’s time to get to work here in Delaware.
“Lost a couple friends – Bob Venables, John Atkins – I feel badly for them,” said Markell, of the ouster of both Democratic incumbents from the state Senate and state House respectively. “Bottom line, people of Delaware expect us now that the election is over to put partisanship aside, to roll up our sleeves and to work on the things that matter to them.”
Lt. Gov. Matt Denn won the race for attorney general, leaving Markell without a second-in-command for his remaining two years in office. Delaware law prohibits a special election or appointment to the office, so it will remain vacant.
“It’ll be a loss to me personally because Matt was really, very much a valued partner,” Markell said. “He stepped in whenever needed to focus on solving big problems, he was a partner in our budget process where he always had a good perspective, somebody I can count on. I expect to continue to have that kind of relationship with him, but it’ll be very different not having him in the lieutenant governor’s office.”
Markell, who served as state treasurer for 10 years, said he had a good conversation with Republican Ken Simpler this morning following his win in that race. Simpler defeated Democrat Sean Barney, who most recently worked for Markell as his policy director.
“The people have spoken, they want Ken Simpler to be in that office,” he said. “He’s very clear — he wants to roll up his sleeves and focus on the issues affecting that office.”
The incumbent, Democrat Chip Flowers, withdrew his bid for re-election. Flowers was hounded by scandal linked to his former deputy treasurer Erika Benner who misused state funds.
While the GOP now has control of the U.S. Senate, Markell is confident Delaware’s all-Democratic Congressional Delegation will work with anybody who has a good idea, regardless of their party affiliation. Incumbents Chris Coons and John Carney swept their respective Senate and House races in the First State.
Markell made his comments during a taping of First Extra, Wednesday at 5:30 onWHYY TV. Friday, the governor will outline his hopes for the upcoming year with a new legislature in Dover. That can be seen beginning at 5:30 and 11pm on WHYY-TV.