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18th House District special election: Eileen O’Shaughnessy-Coleman

Delaware Public Media

In just over two weeks – Newark area voters in the 18th Representative District will head to the polls to select who will replace outgoing Rep. Michael Barbieri.

But the September 12th special election pitting Democrat David Bentz and Republican Eileen O’Shaughnessy-Coleman to fill the seat Barbieri left to lead the state Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health has wider implications.Should Democrats lose the seat, they will no longer control hold a super majority in the House that allows them to pass tax or fee increases without any Republican support.  And it would come just a year after Democrats lost their Senate supermajority when Republican Bryant Richardson unseated longtime Democratic State Sen. Robert Venables in the Laurel area.

So, that makes the race between Bentz, a legislative aide for Barbieri, and O’Shaughnessy-Coleman, a Republican who has lived in the district for nearly 25 years, a critical one.

With that in mind, Delaware Public Media's Tom Byrne is sitting down with both candidates to learn about them and where they stand on the issues.  Next week, we’ll hear from David Bentz.  This week, we hear from Eileen O’Shaughnessy-Coleman.

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