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Delaware GOP says its candidates are prepping to try again

Roman Battaglia / Delaware Public Media

According to Ballotpedia, Delaware has the nation’s longest Democratic hold on state government, controlling the Governor’s office and both chambers in the state legislature going back to 2008.


Republicans in Delaware failed again to make any significant gains at the ballot box - and actually lost a pair of state Senate seats.


Some moderate Republican candidates down ballot place blame on the statewide candidates that seem to turn off voters looking for bipartisanship.


U.S. Senate candidate Lauren Witzke was among those polarizing candidates, coming under fire for tweeting racist remarks and her far-right political views.


Delaware GOP chair Jane Brady says she fully supported Witzke through the general election.


“There are gonna be candidates that I know some of the Democrats think are too far left and I know some Republicans think Lauren Witzke is too far right and there are some Republicans who think some of our Republicans are too far left," said Brady. "The consensus within  the party at the time of the primary was that she was the candidate they wanted to represent them in the general election. I have no authority to negate those votes.”


Brady says despite the losses this year, she’s preparing these candidates for their next elections.


“These candidates will be great candidates in the future if they don’t win tonight," said Brady "I’m building my bench, I’m working hard to make the party more visible and stronger.”


Brady says she’s proud to put up a slate of diverse candidates, including only one man and four women in statewide races, and wants to focus on balancing power in the party.


The Delaware GOP treads a fine line between conservative voters in the south and moderate Republicans in the north.


She says her job as chair is to maintain a balance, offering up candidates that appeal to both groups.


But in Delaware, Democrats’ registration advantage makes winning statewide races a challenge for the GOP, especially if they lean more conservative. 


According to WDEL’s Sean Greene, Witzke says she plans to challenge Brady for GOP chair in Delaware next year.

Roman Battaglia grew up in Portland, Ore, and now reports for Delaware Public Media as a Report For America corps member. He focuses on politics, elections and legislation activity at the local, county and state levels.
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