18th House District special election: David Bentz
There’s just over a week left before Newark area voters in the 18th Representative District head to the polls to decide who will replace State Rep. Michael Barbieri.
But the September 12th special election 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 Democrat David Bentz, a legislative aide for Barbieri, and Eileen O’Shaughnessy-Coleman, a Republican who has lived in the district for nearly 25 years, a critical one.
With that in mind – we sat down with both candidates to learn about them and where they stand on the issues. Last week, we talked to Eileen O’Shaughnessy-Coleman. This week, we hear from David Bentz.