Democrats add one seat in Senate | House numbers remain same

By Joseph Edelen
Posted 11/8/22

DOVER — Delaware’s political trifecta will remain intact.

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Democrats add one seat in Senate | House numbers remain same


DOVER — Delaware’s political trifecta will remain intact.

Democrats gained one seat in the Senate Tuesday. But the balance remained the same in the House.

Democrats will outnumber Republicans 15-6 in the Senate  and 26-15 in the House.

In question Tuesday was whether the Democrats would retain enough seats to continue to hold a two-thirds supermajority — required for constitutional amendments — and a three-fifths majority, which is necessary for veto overrides and tax increases. These majorities are something the Democrats held prior to this year’s general election.

In Sussex,  Senate District 6 was taken by a Democrat, Russ Huxtable, in a race to fill the seat vacated by Republican Ernie Lopez.

In Kent County, there was a guarantee of at least one new state senator following the retirement of Democrat Bruce Ennis of Smyrna, who served in the General Assembly nearly four decades. It will remain a Democratic-held seat.

Here is a recap of key races:

6th Senate District

With two districts yet to be reported at 10:10 p.m., Russ Huxtable, a Democrat, was leading with 51% of the vote. His opponent, Republican Steve Smyk, had 48%, in a bid to fill the seat previously held by Republican Ernie Lopez.

Mr. Huxtable, a community leader who has advocated for affordable housing, won the Democratic bid for the senate race following his Sept. 13 primary election win.

Rep. Steve Smyk, R-Milton, who had no primary opponent, has served in the House since 2012 and looked to become one of several state legislators who have made the change from representative to senator.

14th Senate District

Following the retirement of Sen. Ennis, the 14th District decided between Democrat Kyra Hoffner and Republican Mark Pugh to replace the longtime senator, who was widely regarded as a conservative Democrat.

Ms. Hoffner, with one district yet to be reported Tuesday night, held the lead with 52 percent of the vote. She had received support from Senate Democratic leadership.

Ms. Hoffner works as a lobbyist with the League of Women Voters and has been involved in numerous advocacy groups.

Mr. Pugh is a former mayor of Leipsic and has been involved in a plethora of community organizations and Rotary Clubs, in addition to owning and operating his third-generation family business, Pugh’s Auto Service.

4th Representative District

Voters in the Angola, Lewes, Long Neck and Millsboro area had the opportunity to select the representative of the new 4th House District, which was relocated from New Castle County to Sussex County following redistricting.

Jeff Hilovsky, a Republican, took 57% of the vote.

The ballot featured two other candidates: Democrat Keegan Worley (40%) and Independent Party of Delaware candidate Amy Fresh (3%).

9th Representative District

Incumbent Rep. Kevin Hensley, R-Townsend, retained the seat with 56% of the vote.

He was opposed by Democrat Terrell Williams (44%).

Rep. Hensley has represented the district since 2014, despite voter registration totals that favor Democrats by 3,905 individuals.

Mr. Williams, a public defender and adjunct college professor, was endorsed by the Working Families Party, which has helped numerous progressives get elected to the General Assembly in recent election cycles.

Rep. Hensley prioritized school safety during the previous legislative session, sponsoring bills that funded districts to retain school constables.

32nd Representative District

The 32nd district will continue to be represented by a Democrat.

Kerri Evelyn Harris received 58% of the vote. Her opponent, Republican Cheryl Precourt, had 42%.

The candidates were running to replace Rep. Andria Bennett, D-Dover, who did not seek reelection and will take over as Dover’s city clerk.

Ms. Harris, a veteran and community advocate, unsuccessfully challenged U.S. Sen. Tom Carper in 2018, while Ms. Precourt unsuccessfully ran against Rep. Bennett for her seat in 2018 and 2020.

34th Representative District

Incumbent Rep. Lyndon Yearick, R-Magnolia, received 60% of the vote to retain the House seat has had since 2014.

Voters in the 34th District had the same choices on the ballot that they did in 2018 — Rep. Yearick, R-Magnolia, and Ade Kuforiji, a Democrat, and William McVay, who ran as a member of Non-Partisan Delaware Party after doing so as a Libertarian in 2018.

Mr. Kuforiji has 39% of the vote. Mr. McVay received 1% of votes.

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