Delaware Democratic primary voters to decide if state auditor deserves a chance at re-election in November

By | September 13, 2022

Democratic Party voters in Delaware are set to decide whether the incumbent state auditor, who is awaiting sentencing on criminal charges for corruption, deserves a chance at reelection in November.

The Democratic primary for auditor is the only statewide race on Tuesday’s ballot, which also features several legislative contests.

Auditor Kathy McGuiness was found guilty in July of three misdemeanors — official misconduct, conflict of interest and noncompliance with procurement rules — but the jury acquitted her on felony charges of theft and witness intimidation. The judge later tossed the procurement conviction in a post-trial ruling but upheld the other two convictions. They carry presumptive sentences of probation.

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McGuiness is being challenged by Lydia York, an attorney who has been endorsed by the state Democratic party and was one of its presidential electors in 2016. McGuiness is the first statewide elected official in Delaware convicted on criminal charges while in office.

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Campaign finance reports show York is raising and spending more money than McGuiness in their primary contest. As of Sept. 5, York reported raising $62,415 and spending $62,095.26 since establishing a campaign committee in late May, while McGuiness reported raising $33,770 since January and spending $43,574.19.

In other races Tuesday, there’s a five-way Democratic primary in state Senate District 14 to replace Bruce Ennis of Smyrna, who is retiring after 40 years in the legislature. Ennis has been a lone conservative Democratic voice in the state Senate for years. On the Republican side, Dover-area incumbent Sen. Colin Bonini faces two primary challengers in District 16 as he tries to keep the seat he has held for 27 years.

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In the state House, six Democratic incumbents, including two members of a progressive wave that shook up the party in 2020, are facing primary challengers. There’s also a four-way Democratic primary for the Dover seat left open by Rep. Andria Bennett’s retirement. Rep. Bryan Shupe of Milford is the only House Republican facing a primary challenge.

Regardless of Tuesday’s results, there is little danger that Democrats will lose control of the House or Senate in November.