Tag Archives: Sussex County

Collins to challenge Atkins in 41st

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.

Alex Pires Means Business

Ex-Democrat hopes to unseat “professional politician” Tom Carper

Sussex County businessman, lawyer, and independent senatorial candidate Alex Pires intends to ruffle Sen. Thomas “Tom” Carper’s feathers, calling him the most dishonest senator in two hundred years and promising to release proof of his “corrupt” dealings.

In an explosive interview with long-time WGMD talk show host Dan Gaffney, aired live from Jimmy’s Grille in Bridgeville on May 25, Pires accused Carper of placing the interests of big banks before those of average Delawareans in exchange for campaign contributions, and went on to compare his habit of quietly sending Delawareans’ donations to Democratic politicians in other states to money laundering. Pires claimed to have hundreds of pages of specific examples of corruption, and declared that he will “clean [Carper’s] clock.”

The enthusiastic challenger is already connecting with voters on social-networking sites like Twitter and Facebook. Yesterday he tweeted, “I was a member of the Democratic Party but left it this past year (as have millions of voters) because it has lost its way.” However, Pires has encouraged voters who don’t like him to vote for Republican candidate Kevin Wade.

Pires is also using social media to taunt Carper’s staffers, with tweets like:

“I am running for US Senate. [M]y opponent has his staffers ‘like’ me on FB and follow me on Twitter. Ok. Hay Guys: I’m going to bed now.” (May 25)


“Dear Sen Carper staff stalking me on Twitr & FB: day #3 of campaign: 1/2 hour on Wgmd, NPR & 4 interviews, [campaign website] is smoking..” (May 25)

And, perhaps the funniest so far,

“Senator My-Life-Is-Full-Of-Secrets Carper sent staffers to my Cork announcement, but they did not come forward and introduce themselves.” (May 26)

The domain name of Pires’s campaign site, 36yearsisenough.com, alludes to Carper’s thirty-six years in government. The site features videos of Pires talking about issues like term limits, social security, jobs, and wars.

During an interview with FOX’s Greta Van Susteren last week, Pires refused to say whether he’s more similar to Democrats or Republicans. “I think when it comes to spending money I’m conservative; when it comes to taking care of children and the elderly, I’m more liberal, but I really don’t believe in either party.” He noted that George Washington was an independent.

Based on remarks made thus far, and the videos on his website, “populist” is probably the best label for Pires’s political ideology, as well as his campaign style. By taking aim at taxpayer-funded bailouts of big banks, he is appealing to both the right-leaning Tea Party and left-leaning Occupy movements, fusing fiscal conservatism with concern for the working class. The difference between Pires and Carper is the difference between what the Democratic Party pretends to be, the party of the little guy, and what it really is, one-half of a two-party crony-capitalist system.

Following his official announcement at the Bottle & Cork bar in Dewey Beach, Pires plans to tour the First State and speak in each of its fifty-seven incorporated cities and towns while collecting the thousands of signatures required for ballot access.

Price hopes to reclaim 38th Rep seat; GOP could capture State Senate

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.