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Julianne Murray outlines priorities as new Delaware GOP Chair

Former Gubernatorial and Attorney General candidate Julianne Murray is the new chair of Delaware's Republican Party.

Murray prevailed in last week’s party chair election by a relatively narrow margin, netting 182 votes to former chair Jane Brady’s 155.

Murray says frustration about support offered to candidates during last year’s campaign was one reason for her victory; offering her own campaign as an example, she says she would have benefited from more coordination with the party and other candidates.

“We needed to change, we needed to get a party infrastructure in place so that candidates don’t feel like they’re on an island," she said. "We are going to be putting together a taskforce of former candidates that can help recruit, vet and work with candidates so they have a support system in place.”

Murray says she also hopes to be economical about where the GOP runs candidates, though she would not divulge the party’s list of competitive seats. She adds that Republicans will likely run candidates for every available federal and statewide seat; it is unclear whether that will mean running against Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester and Sen. Tom Carper as incumbents or whether Carper will retire and Rochester will run for his Senate seat.

Murray says this year’s legislative session – and the ongoing debate surrounding the implementation of a plan to transition to electric vehicles – provide fodder for Republicans to gain momentum.

“I think permit-to-purchase is an animating issue, and I think the EV mandate is an animating issue," she said. "And neither of them are a Republican or Democrat issue.”

The party will attempt to gauge interest in each subject, she added, through increased social media presence, using engagement as a type of informal polling.

Republican candidates for statewide offices largely fell short of their party’s expectations in 2022, and the party lost ground in Sussex County while barely holding on to one of its last remaining House seats in New Castle County.

Paul Kiefer comes to Delaware from Seattle, where he covered policing, prisons and public safety for the local news site PubliCola.