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Delaware

Rehoboth chef wins ‘Holiday Baking Championship’

Dru Tevis works for SoDel Concepts

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Dru Tevis won the Food Network’s $25,000 prize. (Photo courtesy SoDel Concepts)

REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. — Well-known local pastry chef Dru Tevis won the Food Network’s “Holiday Baking Championship” on Monday, taking home the competition show’s $25,000 prize.

Tevis, who lives in Lewes, Del., with his husband, works as corporate pastry chef for SoDel Concepts, a group of local restaurants that includes Thompson Island. 

Each episode of the hit Food Network show included two rounds of baking challenges judged by Duff Goldman of Charm City Cakes; Nancy Fuller, owner of Ginsberg’s Foods; and Carla Hall from “Top Chef.”  

Tevis was the first pastry chef to win the title of Best Chef in the Delaware Today Best Of Awards, and was also named a Rising Star Chef by the Delaware Restaurant Association, according to his bio.

“I did this for myself, but I did it for SoDel and I did it for Delaware,” Tevis recently told Delaware Today. “I really hope that I’m helping to make people all around the country think, ‘Oh, maybe I should go to Delaware. Looks like there’s some stuff going on there.’” 

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Delaware

Milton Pride kicks off Mardi Gras style June 8

Delaware town celebrating ‘Unity in Diversity’

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Laissez les bons temps rouler (let the good times roll)! 

The town of Milton, Del., will host its 2024 Pride festival with a Mardi Gras theme on Saturday, June 8. The Pride celebration is set to take place in the Milton Theatre’s Quayside festival grounds, at 110 Union St. in downtown Milton, from 4-8 p.m. The event is set to have food trucks, live music, and community vendors all celebrating the queer community.

The town of Milton, located 15 miles northwest of Rehoboth Beach, has partnered with Sussex Pride to put on the Pride Fest and is looking to celebrate the “Unity in Diversity” in Milton. The event also marks the 10th anniversary of the Milton Theatre and will celebrate a decade of performing arts in Milton. Expect sparkling beads, opulent masks, and musical performers that will “transport you to a world of joy!”

The americana duo Mama’s Black Sheep, Delaware’s Rainbow Chorale, and the self-described “bluesy rocker” Christine Havrilla are all slated to perform on the open-air Quayside stage. The shows will happen rain or shine. 

Local food trucks Belly Up and Hot Dogs At The Beach will serve bites at the festival grounds. Additionally, local vendors will sell rainbow-themed accessories on-site, provide resources, and more at the event. 

For more information on Milton Pride, visit the website at miltontheatre.com/pride.

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Delaware

Delaware guv endorses opponent of trans U.S. House candidate

Supporters, polling say State Sen. McBride leads in race

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Sarah McBride (Blade photo by Daniel Truitt)

Delaware’s Democratic governor, John Carney, this week announced he has endorsed his former State Housing Authority Director and cabinet member Eugene Young over Delaware State Sen. Sarah McBride, the nation’s first openly transgender state senator, for Delaware’s single seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in the state’s Sept. 10 Democratic primary.

Carney’s endorsement of Young came one day before the Delaware Building and Construction Trades Union announced it and 20 of its local unions from across the state have endorsed McBride for the congressional seat, calling her “a champion for working people.”

McBride’s campaign website shows that she has also received the endorsement of 21 of her fellow members of the Delaware Legislature, including 11 state senators and 10 members of the state House of Representatives. A third candidate in the race, former Delaware State Treasurer Colleen Davis, recently withdrew her candidacy citing health reasons and has endorsed McBride.

A public opinion poll of likely Democratic primary voters conducted in September showed that McBride was leading  Young by a margin of 44 percent to 23 percent. The poll was commissioned by the Human Rights Campaign Equality Votes PAC, a national LGBTQ rights organization.

Campaign finance records filed with the Federal Election Commission show that McBride had a commanding lead over Young in money raised for her campaign as of Dec. 31, 2023, the most recent filings released by the FEC. At that time, McBride had raised a total of $1,236,066, with $850,179 in cash on hand. The FEC figures show Young had raised a total of $287,300 for his campaign, with $199,594 in cash on hand.

Supporters of both McBride and Young have said each of the two would make history If elected to the U.S. House. McBride would become the nation’s first transgender member of the U.S. Congress. Young’s supporters point out he would become Delaware’s first Black man elected to Congress.

The current Delaware U.S. House member, Lisa Blunt Rochester (D), became the state’s first Black woman to hold a congressional seat in Delaware when she was first elected in 2016. Rochester is giving up her House seat to run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by incumbent Sen. Thomas Carper (D) who is not running for re-election.

Sean Meloy, vice president for political programs for the LGBTQ Victory Fund, which raises money for LGBTQ candidates running for public office nationwide, said he did not think Carney’s endorsement of Young would have a significant impact on the election.

“The governor has been doing work with his former cabinet member on the campaign trail for the last few months,” Meloy told the Washington Blade. “So, I don’t think it’s that big of a surprise. I think it’s a formalization of what most people have expected was coming and what was already happening,” he said. “I don’t think it’s going to be that big of a change.” 

Meloy added, “I think what would be of interest to voters is that Sarah got like 20 union endorsements today from all across the state and from different types of groups. So, I think that’s going to help Sarah continue to succeed more than the governor’s endorsement of his cabinet member.”

At the time it released its poll in September showing McBride ahead of Young, the Human Rights Campaign credited McBride with working “to pass vital policies for her constituents, like paid medical and family leave, as well as laws making Delawareans safer by restricting the availability of assault weapons and high capacity magazines.” It added, “Her depth of understanding on the issues that matter to most of the people of Delaware is built on a lifetime advocating for her neighbors and making real change.”

In announcing his endorsement of Young, Carney praised Young for his work to help Delaware residents access affordable housing and put in place programs that helped residents become homeowners.

“Having served as a member of Congress myself, I know Eugene is the type of leader we need – someone who will roll up his sleeves and work together to find real solutions for the people of Delaware,” Carney said in a statement.

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Delaware

Flight attendants union endorses Sarah McBride

Del. lawmaker would be first transgender member of Congress

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Delaware state Sen. Sarah McBride speaks at the LGBTQ+ Victory Fund National Champagne Brunch in D.C. on April 10, 2022. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Delaware congressional candidate Sarah McBride has earned the support of the Association of Flight Attendants, the nation’s most prominent flight attendant union.

It’s the second big labor endorsement for McBride after the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 27’s endorsement. The Association of Flight Attendants praised her for spearheading efforts to bring paid family and medical leave to Delaware, which will take effect in 2026. 

“Sarah’s record in the Delaware Senate shows that she understands how to work collaboratively, build power and make big things happen,” the union’s president, Sara Nelson, wrote in a press release shared exclusively with the Washington Blade. “That’s the kind of leader we need in Congress, and we’re proud to endorse her candidacy.”

McBride also announced her support for creating a list of abusive passengers and banning them from flying. Each airline has a list of passengers banned from flying, but airlines don’t share the lists with each other, though Delta Air Lines has asked them, because of “legal and operational challenges,” as a representative for the airline industry trade group Airlines of America told a House committee in September 2021.

“Right now, someone can be violent towards a flight attendant or another passenger and walk directly off of that flight and onto one with a different airline to endanger more people,” an Association of Flight Attendants spokesperson wrote in a statement. 

The Protection from Abusive Passengers Act would put the Transportation Security Administration in charge of building the database of passengers fined or convicted of abuse and has bipartisan support but has sat idly in committee since March. It failed to pass last year, and civil rights groups including the American Civil Liberties Union have charged that the list would disproportionately target people of color and strip and a better step to reducing hostility would be making flights more comfortable. Reports of defiant and unruly passengers have more than doubled between 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic, and 2022.

“I thank the Association of Flight Attendants for endorsing our campaign,” McBride wrote in the press release. “It’s important that we recognize and celebrate the symbiotic relationship between strong, unionized workforces and the continued growth of employers here in our state.”

The union representing 50,000 flight attendants across 19 airlines is putting pressure on airlines to grant union demands in contract negotiations. At American Airlines, unionized flight attendants voted to authorize a strike — putting pressure on the airline to accede to its demands. Flight attendants at Alaska Airlines say they are ready to strike but have not voted to authorize one yet. United Airlines flight attendants picketed at 19 airports around the country in August, ratcheting up the pressure. 

The union’s endorsement adds to a growing list of McBride endorsements, including 21 Delaware legislators, the United Food and Commercial Workers, the Human Rights Campaign, EMILY’s List, and Delaware Stonewall PAC. McBride, who would be the first openly transgender politician in Congress, has powerful connections in Washington — including with the White House — and is favored to win Delaware’s lone House seat. 

A poll commissioned by HRC shows her leading the pack of three candidates vying for the seat — 44 percent of “likely Democratic voters” told pollster company Change Research, which works with liberal organizations. The poll of 531 likely Delaware Democratic primary voters, though, was conducted only online — meaning those with less familiarity or access to the internet may not have been counted — and Change Research’s methodology for screening likely voters is unclear. The company also did not provide a breakdown of respondents by age, gender, and race, but says it uses an algorithm to make the results representative.  

Nelson said McBride’s time in Delaware’s state Senate shows her prowess in building power and working collaboratively.  

“That’s the kind of leader we need in Congress, and we’re proud to endorse her candidacy,” she wrote.

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