Most often we argue whether the office is needed. Allan Loudell over the years has opened his forums with a question regarding just that… Of course all the candidates say it is important, they are running for that office. But in the US, 43 of 50 states have a lieutenant governor. In 25 of those 43 states, the governor and lieutenant governor are elected on the same ticket, ensuring that they come from the same political party. In the remaining 18 states, they are elected separately and, thus, may come from different parties.
Delaware is in the last category.
The Lieutenant Governor has one prime duty:…to step into the governor’s role should that person become incapacitated. In Delaware, they also sit as the honorary chair of the Senate, similar to the Vice President sitting in front of the US Senate, as well as head Delaware’s Board of Pardons, which decides who shall be pardoned and who shall not.
Everything else is window dressing which is why many consider this statewide office position to be worthless.
Quite often the Lieutenant Governor (at least in Delaware) is touted as a stepping stone to the governorship… Some have jumped from one to the other… But many more have not. Over the past 50 years, only three former Lieutenants became governor. Just 3.
Which is why we are fielding a weak field this year…. If one of the criteria is to put in someone capable of being governor in a crises (such as loss of the real governor) then we have a very feeble field from which to draw. Almost all of Delaware’s entrants come from the very bottom of our ballots, you know those names and titles at the very bottom after you’ve voted for everyone whom you came for?
This year we can choose between a Wilmington City Council person; a Kent County Levy Court (their county council) person; a New Castle County Register of Wills person; a Rehoboth Beach City Commissioner, and a Sussex County Register of Wills person….. And there is one person who is a state senator.
Really. There is no one with acceptable “creds” to step in and run a state. It will obviously have to run by itself.
Of course if you listen to all of them, each will chime that their experience has prepared them for being immediately thrust into the governorship… That is like me boasting since I know how to drive, (shift, brake, accelerate, turn left and right) I’m prepared to win at Talladega if chosen as an alternate; none of these have any executive experience strong enough to jump in at a moments notice and run one 50th of the most powerful nation of all time.
So, experience is out of the mix when it comes to choosing. It really evaporates down to personalities of who you like. Men? Women? Rural? Urban? Suburban? Resort? It becomes a high school election cycle with so many candidates creating too many variables to predict. Who ever wins, wins.
If you want to stay away from candidates bought and paid for, don’t vote for anyone sending you a mailer to your house. That rules out McGuiness who has the “Delaware Way” royal’s support and whose future function will be to make sure that Copeland Enterprises has smooth sailing into the next cycle.
If you voted for Bernie and nostalgically wish he were the top candidate, then you should probably vote for Sherry Dorsey Walker who was at all Bernie’s functions this spring primary season and would be a good candidate for his support if it were forthcoming. An Afro American choosing Bernie, is a solid enough “cred” right there.
If you are a senior, and desire a champion, then Poppiti is definitely the one for you. As the local expert on Wills, he has a fondness for those in the golden years. Having heard from quite a few older Americans, he probably has the most empathy for those in their waning years of life.
If rural inclined you have a choice of two, Eaby and Fuller, the first from Kent, the second from lower Sussex. Eaby stands out with his view on legalizing and taxing Marijuana and applying those monies to k-12 educational needs… (I can see the disclaimers on the textbooks now… “Provided by Marijuana Proceeds”). It shows creative thought. The other rural candidate, Fuller. hasn’t yet outlined a solid platform. His background comes from the criminal justice system.
A state senator is not ready to be a governor. They can preside over the Senate having some familiarity there, but even neophytes can do that task without any prompting. But she more than any other candidate has had constituent experience and that speaks volumes. However unlike all the other candidates, she does have a voting record on Education… and her votes show her as a follower of Sokola, and not as a leader on educational matters. Since education IS the primary function of state government, the one that can get us in hot water the quickest, her unfamiliarity with its deeper issues probably precludes her from being first choice to step in as governor. On the other hand it was her surprise pro-gay marriage vote, despite her ministerial father’s warning to her, that pushed that into reality….
It is almost a flip of a coin.
However, looking at the long term plan for Delaware and the nation, the last thing we need are people catering to conservatives and the thing we need most are Bernie people in power to make decisions that are people based over investment based..
Therefore on that alone, one should probably support Sherry Dorsey Walker as Lt. Gov. In this day and age, after having an Afro American president followed by a woman one, it is probably time to have our first female Afro American elected to a statewide office in a state that is 22.4% Afro American itself and home of Harriet Tubman’s legacy.
In a field where no one has executive experience, the symbolism of the office actually becomes more important than the duties it performs (probably time to get rid of such an office). In this case, who would provide the best symbol as Delaware’s face to the world, takes precedence over any competency issues among any of the candidates. That’s the sad truth. And that, along with the fact she was behind Bernie Sanders 100%, is what swayed me to support Sherry Dorsey Walker in this upcoming primary race as this state’s Lt. Governor.