Rich Collins (R-Millsboro) announced his candidacy for the 41st Representative District seat, currently held by Rep. John Atkins (D-Millsboro), this evening during Bill Colley’s talk show on WGMD. Collins is probably best known for being the executive director of the Positive Growth Alliance, a nonprofit organization which promotes free enterprise and government accountability in Delaware, and had been rumored to be considering a run for the seat for several months prior to filing for it this morning.
Atkins, a former Republican, is widely considered to be one of the most socially conservative Democrats in the Delaware General Assembly, and defeated Republican challenger and former state representative Greg Hastings by a margin of ten percent in 2010.
The 41st, which includes Millsboro, Gumboro, Frankford, and portions of Selbyville, is home to slightly more Democrats than Republicans, but with approximately 20% of the district’s voters belonging to the “other” category — third party or unaffiliated — party affiliation probably won’t be much of a factor in the race. Both candidates can be expected to campaign as strong conservatives. Atkins has the advantage of name recognition, but will have to work to distance himself from his party’s more liberal candidates (e.g., President Obama, Senator Carper, Governor Markell), and might stumble over a critical email sent to the Delaware State Police following a traffic stop earlier this year.
There are no third-party or unaffiliated candidates for the 41st Representative District seat at this time.