Delaware’s Republican party has selected businessman and former-police officer John Marino to run for the state Senate seat soon to be vacated by Lt. Gov-elect Bethany Hall-Long.
It's Marino's second try for the 10th District seat. He lost to Hall-Long by a slim margin in 2014. Marino won 49 percent of the vote, falling just 267 votes shy of his opponent.
But conditions Marino could be more favorable this time around. He won’t be running against an incumbent and he could ride the same wave of voter frustration that swept Donald Trump to victory last month.
“There’s a sense of frustration and disappointment, and a lack of trust with our elected officials and our leadership,” Marino said.
Marino also narrowly lost a bid for a House seat in 2010, edged by Rebecca Walker in the 9th District by 282 votes.
He says his message in this special election will be the same as his previous runs, and maybe this year voters are ready to accept what he has to say: Democrats are spending too much and scaring jobs away.
"I ran in 2010 and 2014 on almost the same platform I’m running on now," Marino said.
The basis of his platform is attracting businesses and jobs by investing in education, reducing crime and cutting government spending. He'd also like to tackle the opiate epidemic gripping the state.
Hall-Long will leave her state senate seat in the 10th District this January.
After that, Delaware’s state senate will be evenly split. A Marino victory would tip control of the state’s upper chamber to Republicans for the first time in more than 40 years.
The special election is expected to be held as early as late February.
It’s still unclear who the Democrats will run against Marino.