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Politics & Government

District 7 State Senate candidates clash over abortion, criminal justice

Anthony Delcollo & Spiros Mantzavinos / Facebook
Incumbent Sen. Anthony Delcollo and Challenger Spiros Mantzavinos

Delaware’s 7th Senate District candidates faced off in their second debate Thursday night.


And they clashed on several controversial issues.


Incumbent Republican Anthony Delcollo faces Democratic challenger Sprios Mantzavinos  in November’s General election.


Delcollo narrowly beat former State Sen. President Pro Tem Patricia Blevins four years ago by just 282 votes, running on a campaign of bipartisanship.


Mantzavinos argues that Delcollo, while claiming to be non-partisan, regularly votes to advance the Republican agenda.


“We can’t afford to send someone to Dover who’s already voted against protecting a woman's right to choose," said Mantzavinos. "Voters of the Seventh District deserve better, they deserve someone who will stand with women, stand against the repeal of the affordable care act and stand up for the working men and women of our state.”


Back in 2017, Delcollo sided with his Republican colleagues voting no on Senate Bill 5, which clarifed abortion rights in the first state.


Delcollo seemingly danced around the question of supporting abortion rights


“I’m not in a position much as I would say for any constitutional right to support a measure or proposal that would abridge a right and then cause the state of Delaware to have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees fighting over something that’s a plainly unconstitutional proposal,” said Delcollo.


On the topic of criminal justice reform, Delcollo highlighted his record over the past 4 years.


“And the data shows, time and time again, that recidivism is inextricably tied to lack of economic opportunity," said Delcollo. "I’ve worked hard in the last 4 years to reduce unreasonable collateral consequences which keep people from having jobs even though they’ve paid their debt to society.”


Mantzavinos wants to focus on improving the state’s drug laws.


“I think youthful indiscretions, people who have been arrested for small amounts of possession, I think we need to take a look at that to be able to make sure that a small indiscretion doesn’t ruin somebody's chances for the rest of their lives," said Mantzavinos.


Delcollo faces a tough race in a heavily Democratic district.  Democrats outnumber Republicans by a more than 2-1 margin with 15,258 Democrats and 7,021 Republicans.


But there are also 8,661 voters not registered with either major party, a group Delcollo seeks to reach with his focus on bipartisanship.


But Mantzavinos claims Delcollo is simply posturing, and that his votes in the State Senate, such as ones on abortion rights, show his true colors.

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