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York ousts McGuiness in landslide

Quinn Kirkpatrick
Delaware Public Media

Embattled State Auditor Kathy McGuiness will not get a second term

Lydia York, an attorney and former accountant, earned 70 percent of the vote in the lone statewide primary this year - a resounding rebuke for McGuiness, who continued to run despite two misdemeanor convictions on corruption charges.

"I think a lot of voters today wanted to make it clear that misfeasance should not be rewarded," York said at a election night gathering in Wilmington Tuesday night. "I think a lot of people came out and may not have known me as well as I would have liked them to have known me, but they had a choice.  And frankly, that was one of the reasons I ran.  They needed to have a choice, and specifically a choice for someone who is not tangled up in the criminal justice system."

York hopes to spend this fall making voters statewide more aware of her - and her plans if she is elected State Auditor.

"I think people really need to know and understand that they will be voting for somebody who wants to do this job and to get this job to be a functioning part of government," she said, "because I don’t believe that, notwithstanding the current administration, but even prior, I don’t think this job has been getting done.  And I think its been quite some time since it’s been done."

York outraised McGuiness by more than two-to-one and had the endorsement of the state’s Democratic Party. McGuiness continued to campaign in the face of those disadvantages and her legal troubles, maintaining her innocence and catering to long-time supporters.

McGuiness could not be reached for comment. She still awaits sentencing for her misdemeanor convictions; if she is sentenced before the end of her term, Gov. John Carney has assured lawmakers that he will remove her from office in accordance with the state Constitution.

York will face Republican Janice Lorrah in November’s general election. Lorrah, a New Castle County-based attorney, did not face a primary in the auditor’s position.

Tom Byrne has been a fixture covering news in Delaware for three decades. He joined Delaware Public Media in 2010 as our first news director and has guided the news team ever since. When he's not covering the news, he can be found reading history or pursuing his love of all things athletic.