Because it’s rare that statewide Democrats with a realistic chance of winning step on each other’s toes, usually primary fights in the First State (and, to be honest, most other Democrat-controlled states) are reserved for either open seats on the Democrat side or Republican challengers jockeying for position on the November ballot.
I had heard this previously from a campaign insider, but when word also came from the state GOP that they were scrubbing an event planned for next Friday I took it as enough evidence that, indeed, AG candidate (and former judge and state representative) Chuck Welch was withdrawing his name from consideration. Initially I only had the word from the two disparate sources, and I had already started this post on Sunday, but today his campaign put out a statement that confirmed he was withdrawing.
I have withdrawn from the race due to a health issue. I am a longtime diabetic and have recently had trouble controlling the condition. Anyone with diabetes knows how important it is to keep the condition under control… After consultation with my doctor and family, I have decided to leave the campaign trail to focus on my health.Prepared statement from former AG candidate Chuck Welch, March 29, 2022.
We should be praying for the health of Chuck Welch, and thankful he was able to serve Delaware for so long with his condition. I have a good friend who is diabetic so I can vouch for his statement.
In the meantime, barring a sudden entrance into the race of some Republican with both the funding and name ID to counter her, it appears that Julianne Murray will be the Republican candidate for Delaware’s Attorney General position, presumably challenging incumbent Kathy Jennings for the post. Murray is fresh off an interesting fundraiser with what I consider a local connection, as one of the speakers there was Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis, who traveled up to New Castle County to speak on her behalf along with Sheriff Mark Lamb of Pinal County, Arizona. (It’s the same duo who spoke at a Wicomico County Lincoln Day Dinner a year or two ago.)
While we are still several months away from the filing deadline here in the First State, it appears this primary campaign at the state level may be as exciting as watching paint dry. You may recall in 2018 there were several primary fights on the Democrat side – joined by the GOP in contesting nominations for the Federal offices – but now that Democrats hold the three positions under consideration this year (Attorney General, Auditor, Treasurer) it’s not likely anyone will challenge for two of them. There may be a challenger for Auditor, though, given the ethical and legal issues which Democrat incumbent Kathy McGuiness has to address should she choose to run for re-election. And with only one federal race on the ballot, no one has made a significant move to deny 2018 and 2020 GOP House candidate Lee Murphy another shot at Lisa Blunt Rochester, despite some who would rather see someone else take a turn at the wheel.
With school board races also tamer than expected, 2022 may not be the contentious election season we thought it might save for a few Democratic Delaware General Assembly incumbents who have a primary challenge. But it’s still early.