Democrat Jennings will get second term as Delaware attorney general

By Craig Anderson
Posted 11/8/22

Democrat Kathleen Jennings will serve a second term as Delaware’s attorney general.

As of 10:30 p.m., with three districts left to report, Ms. Jennings held a six-point lead over Republican …

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Democrat Jennings will get second term as Delaware attorney general


Democrat Kathleen Jennings will serve a second term as Delaware’s attorney general.

As of 10:30 p.m., with three districts left to report, Ms. Jennings held a six-point lead over Republican Julianne Murray.

Ms. Jennings had 54% of the vote.

“The best thing about running for office is the people, at the end of the day, decide, and so you really should never stop running because that means that the people have confidence in you,” Ms. Jennings said during an appearance at East Dover Elementary School on Election Day. “I have tremendous energy and a great team around me. I’m so grateful.”

Ms. Jennings said the most frequent issues that voters raised to her were maintaining personal safety and keeping abortion rights protected in Delaware.

“But what I hear from many voters right now is they really want to vote because they know their vote matters,” she said. “And it’s important to our democracy.”

Thinking ahead to the results Tuesday, she said, “It would be an honor to have (the public’s) confidence. If this happens again in 2022, it just tells us that, in Delaware, we are on the way (to) keeping people safe, keeping our rights intact, making sure people have the right to vote.”

As for Ms. Murray, she rose at 5 a.m. and noted she wasn’t a “morning person.”

“It was like Christmas morning in that I knew I wasn’t going to be able (to) get back to sleep,” she said.

After campaigning for more than 500 days, Ms. Murray had time to reflect on the journey.

“Yesterday, I recorded my last ‘Murray Monday Minute’ (message on Facebook) and almost cried,” she said. “That being said, all this has been an honor.”

Ms. Murray ran for governor in 2020, collecting 39% of the vote in a losing effort to Democrat John Carney. The attorney general’s race was her second statewide campaign.

“There’s a little bit of it that is like, ‘Oh, my gosh, tomorrow, I’m not going to be a candidate anymore,’” Ms. Murray said.

At various poll locations Tuesday, she made one last effort to sway any undecided individuals walking into the voter’s booths.

“My question to (undecideds) is what it has been to everyone all along: Are you safer than you were four years ago? And if you don’t feel safer than you did four years ago, vote for Julianne Murray.”

The candidate said she voted at Seaford High School, while the incumbent was headed for Immanuel Church in Wilmington to cast her ballot.

Leading up to Election Day, Ms. Jennings, 69, of Wilmington, said she sought to remain in office to fight gun violence, protect abortion rights and push for democracy.

In the midst of campaigning, she pointed to her more than 20-year stint with the Department of Justice and 15-plus years working as a private practice attorney, plus her self-described extensive administrative experience.

During her time with the office, Ms. Jennings said she prosecuted hundreds of cases, including domestic violence, sexual assaults and homicides.

She noted that her office had secured an 85% conviction rate on gun violence crimes and helped pass laws to ban assault weapons and confront issues surrounding so-called “ghost guns.”

Additionally, Ms. Jennings advocated for a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, among other elements of gun safety.

Regarding abortion, the attorney general referenced her office’s partnership with law firms to provide free legal services and a successful lawsuit against Seaford City Council over a proposed fetal-remains ordinance.

Meanwhile, Ms. Murray, 52, of Seaford, pointed to her lack of a political background and connection to any special interest groups as a positive, as she wasn’t beholden to any person or cause.

A run as a criminal defense attorney from 2015-20 would aid her ability to prosecute cases, she said. She’s been a practicing attorney since 2012.

For Ms. Murray, the top issues in Delaware include public safety, crime and gun-wielding criminals.

Gun control did not create crime control, she noted, and she disagrees with the General Assembly’s restriction on gun ownership, saying it violates both the Delaware and United States constitutions.

In promoting herself in the run for attorney general, Ms. Murray also referenced her 2020 lawsuit against the state that she said prompted the lifting of a short-term rental ban during a state of emergency.

State auditor

Lydia York, a Democrat from Wilmington, will become the state’s next auditor of accounts.

As of 10:30 p.m., with three districts remaining, Ms. York had 54% of the vote while Republican Janice Lorrah had 46%..

She will fill the seat previously held by Kathy McGuiness, who resigned after a July conviction on misdemeanor misconduct charges. Ms. York, 63, won a primary race in September against the incumbent.

The Pike Creek resident believes the state should have an Inspector General’s Office with law enforcement authority to address government waste and corruption concerns.

Ms. Lorrah, 47, of Hockessin, was leery of an inspector general, concerned about it being a politically appointed position through the governor.

The goal for Ms. York in office, she said, would be stabilizing and supporting current staff; meeting all statutory requirements for audits, including local school districts; and reviewing staffing levels and contractor participation in state audits.

State treasurer

Democrat Colleen Davis, a first-term incumbent, had 54% of the vote with three district yet to report.

Her challenger was Greg Coverdale, who lost a bid for a state House of Representatives seat in 2014.

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