Delaware lawmakers discuss ways to fill lieutenant governor seat

(file/NewsWorks)

(file/NewsWorks)

Delaware lawmakers are trying to decide how to fill the lieutenant governor’s seat if the position is vacated later this year.

Lt. Gov. Matt Denn announced that he’s running for attorney general in November and if he wins, his seat will be empty until his term expires in 2016.

The lieutenant governor’s constitutional responsibilities include chairing the board of pardons and presiding over the Senate.

Democrats are pushing a bill that would allow the governor to choose the replacement from the same political party as the outgoing lieutenant governor. The legislation was tabled on the Senate floor Thursday.

Republicans oppose the bill and are introducing legislation that would require a special election for the seat.

“The vacancy should be filled by a special election,” said Sen. Greg Lavelle, R-Sharpley. “Let the people of Delaware make that decision. It’s modeled off the legislative special elections that we have now for ourselves and we just believe that the people should be making this choice.”

Sen. Patricia Blevins, D-Elsmere, said a special election would cost the state close to a million dollars.

Denn announced he’s running for the AG’s seat last month, after Beau Biden announced he was running for governor in 2016 and isn’t seeking re-election to the AG post.

Lawmakers will break for the next two weeks for budget mark-ups.

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