DOVER, Del. (CBS/AP) — A number of races in Delaware have been declared just minutes after the polls closed. Beginning with the race for governor, Democratic incumbent Gov. John Carney defeated Republican challenger Julianne Murray on Tuesday to win a second term.
Carney enjoyed voter registration numbers that heavily favor Democrats in thwarting Murray’s bid Tuesday.
The race was seen partly as a referendum on Carney’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. His closures and restrictions on businesses led to thousands of Delawareans losing their jobs and filing unemployment claims in record-shattering numbers. Murray sued Carney herself over a ban on short-term rentals he imposed early in the virus outbreak. The lawsuit remains pending in federal court.
Carney has defended his actions and said he will continue to work to protect Delawareans from COVID-19. He also has pledged to address racial justice issues, strengthen public schools and improve Delaware’s infrastructure.
This was followed by incumbent Democrat Lisa Blunt Rochester winning reelection to a third term as Delaware’s lone delegate in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday.
Blunt Rochester defeated Republican challenger Lee Murphy to keep her seat in Congress. Blunt Rochester is a former state labor secretary who was first elected to the House in 2016. She is the first woman and the first person of color to represent Delaware in Congress.
Blunt Rochester has sponsored 27 bills while in Congress, although none has passed. Many of her proposals are aimed at improving or expanding access to health care. She also sponsored “Clean Slate” legislation seeking to seal certain criminal records to help lower societal barriers for ex-offenders.
That was followed by Democratic incumbent Chris Coons defeating Republican challenger Lauren Witzke on Tuesday to win reelection to the U.S. Senate in Delaware.
The win comes 10 years after Coons won a special election to fill the Senate seat once held by Joe Biden. He was reelected to a full term in 2014 with almost 56% of the vote.
Witzke is a conservative activist and political newcomer who soundly defeated the Delaware GOP’s endorsed candidate in the Republican primary but found herself fighting both Coons and fellow Republicans because of her statements and background.
Witzke has defended the neo-fascist Proud Boys, and previously promoted the baseless, far-right conspiracy theory QAnon. She also drew fire for an anti-abortion post on Facebook celebrating the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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