Sigh… let’s quickly talk about Delaware’s 2016 Election

Votes counted. Check. Hatchet buried. Check. 2014 is done. Now time for 2016. Rob offers a commentary.

Here is Rob’s commentary.

I hate to do this. I know the 2014 elections are still a bad taste in the back of your throat, and you’re probably still trying to recycle all the election flyers and lawn signs that were force upon you. But I have to do it. 

I have to talk about 2016. 

It’s not my fault – State Sen. Colin Bonini forced my hand. Two days after winning re-election in his Dover seat (getting over 74 percent of the vote against an Independent Party candidate), the boisterous Republican announced that he is running for governor. 

As the 2014 race for Delaware State Treasurer shows, a credible Republican can defeat an incompetent Democrat in a statewide race if the stars align properly. Bonini may be the best the Republicans have – he’s served in the state senate for 20 years, nearly beat Chip Flowers in the 2010 Treasurer’s race, and hasn’t mentioned Ebola once, as far as I know. But he’s going to need more than empty slogans, like “Delaware needs fixing!”, if he wants to make a serious run. 

Bonini’s chances, as slim as they seem, would rest on the candidate Democrats choose to succeed outgoing Gov. Jack Markell. So who’s it going to be? 

Scion of the Biden clan, Beau, seems like the likely choice. He did bail out of a third term as attorney general, noting a desire to run for governor. And he wouldn’t have attend Return Day if he didn’t have future political endeavors on his mind.  Yes, he was there. He was at the end of the parade in the National Guard float. His son in front of him, a guardsman behind him, and State Representative Earl Jaques to the side.

But since that April announcement, Biden has been a ghost in the wind, battling health issues and avoiding the press. He isn’t granting any interviews or making himself available for questions, despite the fact he’s still the state’s attorney general until January.

If Biden’s health prevents him from taking advantage of the family’s coattails, U.S. Rep. John Carney might opt for a run. Carney is no fan of the gridlock in Washington, and signaled that the rat race of raising money for elections every two years is something he might like to avoid. He was the top vote getter in Tuesday’s election, and was just one Ruth Ann Minner away from becoming governor in 2008.

New Castle County Executive Tom Gordon, Delaware’s comeback kid, also seems like a likely candidate. After being embarrassed out of office the first time around by federal racketeering and fraud charges (he pled to lesser charges), Gordon has the ambition and audacity to think Democrats statewide would elect him as governor. But despite his born-again politicking and budget-balancing abilities, I think Democrats have better options than a convicted criminal with more baggage than a Southwest luggage terminal.

Regardless, at least it looks as though 2016 might have some credible races. Let’s hope 2014 convinces wacky, unserious Republican candidates, like Kevin “Ebola” Wade, Roze Izzo, Sher “I Built That” Valenzuela and lovable homophobe Mike Protack, to stay home. 

Where’s Tom Kovach when you need him?


Rob Tornoe is a cartoonist and a WHYY contributor. Follow Rob on Twitter @RobTornoe

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