Delaware Public Media

Democratic candidates for Attorney General debate

Jun 4, 2018

Democratic candidates vying to be Delaware’s next Attorney General answered questions in Wilmington Monday night, sponsored by the state Democratic Party.


Chris Johnson, Lakresha Roberts and Kathy Jennings sought to differentiate themselves during the two-hour event at the Kingswood Community Center.

The trio staked out positions on issues like cash bail, legalizing marijuana and taking on Trump administration policies.

The three candidates present oppose reinstating the death penalty. But Roberts said she would hear a victim’s family out.

“I’m very comfortable having a difficult conversation explaining to a family why I would not pursue the death penalty in a case,” she said.

Johnson, who previously served as Gov. John Carney’s deputy legal counsel, said he would not seek the death penalty in any case.

Jennings successfully prosecuted a serial killer in 1989 during her decades-long stint in Delaware’s Department of Justice. But she said she doesn’t believe the death penalty deters crime.

Johnson said he’s usually described as far to the left, but believes his views reflect what many people believe.

“But I believe as Democrats, we just need to be solid on our foundation," he said. "So, I am just one of those Democrats, that I’m just upholding the values that the community wants and our national party is pushing for.”

Despite two decades in the Delaware Department of Justice, Jennings rejects any suggestion she’s the establishment Democrat in the race.

“I have sought change," she said. "I have made change happen. Did away with three strikes and get a life sentence law. I did away with consecutive sentencing where it was safe to do so.”

A fourth Democratic candidate, Tim Mullaney, was unable to attend.