By Dan Ryan: Shirley Price (D-Ocean View), a realtor and former state representative, filed for the 38th Representative District seat last week. She won the seat in 1996 and lost it in 2002 to now-Rep. Gerald Hocker (R-Ocean View), and hopes to reclaim it now that Hocker has announced he will run for the retiring Sen. George Bunting’s (D-Bethany Beach) 20th Senatorial District seat.
Price told local news and talk radio station WGMD that she’s running because she enjoys volunteer work and public service, “and there’s a lot of things out there that people can be helped with.”
Hocker, at a meeting of the 38th District Republican club, encouraged candidates to come forward and run for the seat he currently occupies, but did not endorse a successor (though he joked that his wife, Emily, would be a good candidate, earning a round of applause).
Some political observers have speculated that Republicans could win control of the State Senate for the first time in four decades, as there are at least three seats at risk. Four candidates — two Republicans and two Democrats — have filed in the newly-created coastal 6th Senatorial District; Bunting’s seat in the 20th is expected to go to Hocker; and 79-year-old Sen. Robert Venables (D-Laurel) is currently running unopposed, but considered by many to be overdue for retirement. Like Bunting, Venables is known as a conservative Democrat and will probably be succeeded by a conservative Republican whether he retires or is voted out.