State Rep. Brady announces resignation
State Rep. Gerald Brady announced his resignation from the House of Representatives Friday.
Brady was surrounded by controversy last year over an email sent to an advocate outside Delaware where Brady used an anti-Asian slur and joked about human trafficking.
Brady faced a House Ethics Committee hearing, but the complaint was dismissed, citing Brady’s First Amendment rights.
Brady previously announced his retirement from politics, and stated he would not run for re-election this year. Now Brady says he’s stepping down effective February 4th.
In a statement Friday, Brady says recent events have exacerbated symptoms of his PTSD, which he says he was diagnosed with after his time serving in the Middle East.
“The challenges that returning veterans face can create situational stresses, which have a cumulative effect and take a great toll on an individual,” says Brady. “Personal and professional challenges or other traumatic events can exacerbate PTSD.”
House Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf highlighted some of Brady’s accomplishments throughout his 16 years in office.
“Legislatively, Gerald was a strong advocate for environmental issues and workers’ rights and fair wages,” says Schwartzkopf. “Last year, he led the fight on two landmark bills: passing a $15 minimum wage law and prohibiting single-use plastic bags in stores. These laws will have a profound and positive impact on Delaware for years to come.”
Because of the vacancy, a special election is needed, which will be scheduled for sometime in March.
But because Brady’s district was moved down to Sussex County in last year’s redistricting, whoever takes his place this year will only have the seat until November.
And this election will be a test case for Delaware’s new early voting laws, which start this year. Voters in this special election will be able to vote in-person up to 10 days ahead of election day.
Roman Battaglia is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.