November 7, 2018 at 6:20 pm EST | by Blake Chambers
Democrats win big, make history in Delaware
Delaware elections, gay news, Washington Blade

Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

DOVER, Del. — Democrats on Tuesday won the U.S. Senate, U.S. House, attorney general, auditor and treasurer seats in the Delaware midterm elections.

Sen. Tom Carper was elected to his fourth term as a U.S. senator, Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester won re-election to the U.S. House, Kathleen Jennings was elected attorney general, Kathy McGuiness won her race for state auditor and Colleen Davis was elected treasurer. This election marked the first time Delaware elected a woman for the position of state auditor.

“I am very excited. I’m excited for Delaware,” McGuiness told the Blade. “I’m really thrilled and looking forward to getting to work and really raise the profile and make this office relevant for all Delawareans.”

McGuiness, who has been serving as a Rehoboth Beach city commissioner and is on Delaware State University’s Board of Trustees, said that prior to her win, the office of state auditor had been held by 60 men since 1787.

Rochester echoed McGuiness’ sentiments in her speech at the Delaware Democratic Party’s Election Night party saying that this election was “for the soul of our country.” She expressed that this election showed that negativity, hate, racism, sexism and any form of prejudice do not work in the United States. In her speech at the event, Jennings said that as attorney general, she would not hesitate to stand up for civil rights, constitutional rights and basic human rights if threatened by the Trump administration.

“Across this state, voters have made clear that we reject the politics of hate, fear and divisiveness. That we want to continue the work started by our founders to form ‘a more perfect union,’” Carper said in a statement. “That we want to expand opportunities for all Americans and ensure the generations that come after us are better than their parents before them.”

Carper was projected to win over his opponent, Rob Arlett, only minutes after polls closed. Carper won by 60 percent to Arlett’s 37.8 percent, with more than an 80,000-vote difference.

During the primaries, Arlett made a comment about his opponent, Gene Truono, being openly gay, stating, “I’m married to a woman and he is not” when asked the biggest difference between himself and Truono. He stated that he does not support state laws that legalized same-sex marriage or the Supreme Court decision in favor of marriage equality.

At a University of Delaware debate between himself and Carper last month, when asked if he supported more laws and regulations that protect LGBT students, Arlett said that the U.S. Constitution protects all Americans as written. When asked a follow up question about him raising the issue that Truono was openly gay during the primary and if that coincides with what he said about everyone being American, Arlett said his father-in-law was gay, he has a Realtor who works with him who is gay and that he “doesn’t see that” and that he sees “creatures of God.”

Carper said in a statement that he will go back to working to protect the environment for future generations, ensure all Americans have access to affordable health care, continue to build an economy that works for every Delawarean, restore and protect the system of checks and balances and to elevate voices that inspire tolerance rather than violence.

“Thank you, once again, for allowing me to serve you,” Carper said. “It is the greatest honor of my life.”

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