Lisa Blunt Rochester wins big in U.S. House Democratic primary (video)

Democrat Lisa Blunt Rochester at her Tuesday victory party. (Mark Eichmann/Newsworks)

Democrat Lisa Blunt Rochester at her Tuesday victory party. (Mark Eichmann/Newsworks)

With 44 percent of the vote, Lisa Blunt Rochester is one step closer to becoming the first African American and the first woman to represent Delaware in Congress.

Democratic voters faced a crowded ballot at the top of the ticket in the U.S. House primary. While six candidates were on the ballot, just three were competitive.

As results came in Tuesday night, Lisa Blunt Rochester took an early lead and never looked back, finishing with 27,919 votes. That translates to 44 percent of all votes in the race.

“What I’ve heard up and down the state is that people just want a positive approach to dealing with the tough issues that we have to tackle,” Blunt Rochester said. “So that’s the campaign that we ran and it resonated with the voters, and I think that’s what we need to take to Washington.

State Senator Bryan Townsend finished a distant second with 25 percent of the vote.

Townsend said he was surprised by the effectiveness of TV advertising in the race.

“[It was] the messaging all over the airwaves among other places that really swept up the vote,” Townsend said. “I remain committed to grassroots politics.”

Townsend stayed away from TV ads, leaning more on grassroots support and one-on-one encounters with voters. Both Blunt Rochester and Barney were advertising heavily on TV in the final days of the race.

Sean Barney came in third with 20 percent. Mike Miller and Scott Walker both got about 5 percent, while Elias Weir finished with 0.78 percent.

Blunt Rochester will face Republican Hans Reigle in the November General Election. With an overwhelming advantage in voter registration for Democrats, Blunt Rochester heads to November as the favorite. If she wins, she would become the first African American and the first woman to represent Delaware in Congress. It’s an idea that’s still a bit overwhelming.

“I think it hasn’t even penetrated yet, but I just feel very honored and I’m ready to serve,” Blunt Rochester said. Even second place finisher Bryan Townsend admits it’s past time for Delaware have diversity among its Congressional representatives. “No Delawarean should want our state to be on the list of states that haven’t have diversity in Congress, so this is a major, major achievement. I look forward to working with Lisa ,” Townsend said.

John Carney has been in Congress representing Delaware since 2010. He chose not to run, instead is seeking to succeed Jack Markell as governor of the state.

Delaware voters will choose their next Representative in the U.S. House on November 8.

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