Residents in the Kenton, Hartly, and Townsend areas may not have moved, but their state representative district has. For the 2012 election, the State Legislature has set the boundaries for a new 11th District that runs along the western part of the state to the Maryland line, including the towns of Townsend, Kenton, Hartly, and Marydel.
Most residents of the new 11th District were in either the 8th District or the 29th District.
There is no incumbent representative in the new district, but four citizens have registered to run for the job: Republican Jeff Spiegelman, Libertarian Margie McKeown, and Democrats Dave Brown and Lynne Newlin. Brown and Newlin will square off in a Democratic primary Sept. 11 and that will narrow the field to three candidates for the general election Nov. 6.
Residents in the new district should also check the new voter registration cards that were recently mailed, because polling places may have changed.
Here are profiles of each candidate, in alphabetical order by last name:
Dave Brown, Democrat
Dave Brown has owned Hartly Feed & Hardware since 1997. The graduate of Smyrna High School lives near Kenton where he’s served in the Kenton Ruritan Club, including as president, while advancing to district level leadership positions, serving multiple states. The local club’s service projects have included delivering Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners to those in need, helping people buy heating oil when times are tough, and providing college scholarships for local high school graduates.
He’s also a member of the Knights of Columbus Brother Vincent Council 7517 at St. Polycarp Church in Smyrna, the Town of Hartly Planning Committee, and a community representative on the Hartly Elementary School Success Team which also includes teachers, administrators, and parents.
Why did he decide to run for state representative?
“I’ve always been taught that good people need to stand up when there’s a job to be done and offer support and leadership,” Brown said. “Folks around here are hurting. We need jobs and better education. Something like two out of every three graduates today can’t find a job in their field. A lot of people in trades have lost their jobs — in the housing industry and with the loss of the Chrysler and GM factories in Delaware.”
Brown advocates a plan to provide more help for new and existing small businesses, while encouraging larger businesses to come to Delaware.
“We need to promote small businesses,” he said. “That’s what creates the most jobs. Here in Hartly, we’ve lost five different small businesses in the last six months.”
Margie McKeown, Libertarian
Margie McKeown decided to run for state representative to promote personal liberty.
Page 2 of 3 - “I’d like to let the people in our district know that there’s a choice, that there’s more than just Democrats and Republicans out there,” she said. “I think it’s important that we have more choices.”
McKeown owned a hair salon and barber shop in Pennsylvania before moving to a farm near Blackiston, west of Clayton.
She advocates freedom from encroaching government agencies and bureaucrats in people’s businesses and in their personal lives.
“I’ve lived here 10 years and the majority of residents just want to be left alone. As long as people aren’t encroaching on anyone else’s property or safety, people just want to be free —free to raise their families, run their businesses, and live their lives,” she said.
Residents in the district are “so limited with what we can do as far as income opportunities,” McKeown said. “You have to jump through so many hoops for permits or rezonings. We need to reduce that so we can reinvent cottage industries that would invigorate the market for jobs for citizens in our district.”
Locally-controlled education is another important issue for her.
“Parents and teachers in the local community know how to educate children better than state and federal agencies,” she said.
She also wants to see a monthly or quarterly meeting for citizens of the 11th District to meet with their representative to discuss issues, regardless of who’s elected.
Lynne Newlin - Democrat
Two-term Smyrna School District Board of Education member and current president Lynne Newlin is a Clayton-area resident and native Delawarean.
Why did she decide to run for state representative?
“I have always had a passion for serving, whether it’s through my church, volunteering, or on the school board. This is an exciting opportunity, with a new district, to bring a new voice to the General Assembly,” Newlin said.
Newlin’s top issues are ensuring that all students have access to a quality education, bringing good-paying jobs to the area, preserving the district’s rural character, and strengthening services for senior citizens and veterans.
“Children are our future, and they should have every opportunity to succeed,” Newlin said. “To do that, we must ensure that students have access to a high quality education that fits their needs and allows them to compete for good-paying jobs. That education comes in all different forms. Whether the education is academic or a skilled trade, our children deserve the best so that they can excel.”
Noting that the 11th District is largely rural with a strong agricultural presence, Newlin said that the state must continue to preserve that way of life through programs such as the Aglands Preservation Program and the Young Farmers Program so that future generations are able to continue that tradition.
Page 3 of 3 - A graduate of Caesar Rodney High School and Delaware State University, Newlin is a 46-year Kent County resident and works as the information technologies manager at the University of Delaware. She is married to her husband, Roy, and they have a son, James.
Jeff Spiegelman - Republican
Jeff Spiegelman grew up in central Delaware and now teaches history and political science at Wilmington University and Delaware Technical and Community College. He and his wife, Jennifer, live west of Clayton.
Spiegelman said a growing dissatisfaction with government led to his filing the paperwork to run in the fall election in the new 11th District.
"Friends, neighbors, and relatives have encouraged me to run because of the concerns they have about the government controls our society has been forced to accept," he said.
Spiegelman is a graduate of Smyrna High School and is proud of his native state.
"I have been fortunate to travel to many places around the world but, as the saying goes, 'there is no place like home.' I would not want to live anywhere else. That is why running for office is so important to me. I want Delaware to remain a special place even as we face the challenges of the 21st century."
A former U.S. Navy contractor, he’s an educator at the Air Mobility Command Museum next to Dover Air Force Base, a military historian, hunter, and a NRA member. He also serves as a volunteer instructor for senior citizens at the Osher Lifelong Learning Center.
He advocates eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse in state government; getting state spending under control; personal and government accountability; and redesigning and rethinking social welfare.
Spiegelman wants to promotes “Main Street,” small business, and agricultural revival.
Another cornerstone of his campaign is community protection — advocating stronger laws to protect citizens and homeowners from criminals, and letting the voice of the people be heard when it comes to the security of their families.
Email Ben Mace at email@example.com.