The three-man race in the 34th District featured no primaries but each candidate kept himself busy campaigning as if there had been to talk about the local issues of jobs, the rising cost of living and quality public schools.
Voters for this seat in the Delaware House of Representatives will have their choice between Republican incumbent State Rep. Donald Blakey (R-Camden), Democrat Ted Yacucci and Independent Douglas W. Beatty during the Nov. 6 General Election.
Blakey said he formally started campaigning in January, but he has campaigned informally on a daily, weekly and monthly basis since being elected. Blakey, a retired Caesar Rodney School District administrator, wants to ensure the two school districts, the fire, police and emergency services and seniors continue to receive the necessary funding and support they need to continue to educate and protect local quality of life, he said. He also wants to protect homeowners from losing their homes due to defaulting developers, and work on the current riddles of jobs and education.
"While I support the General Assembly's efforts to bring jobs to Delaware, Delaware must provide a stable and ready supply of workers," Blakey said. "That is why I work hard with our school districts and universities to provide re-education for those who wish to transition from one job to another."
Yacucci, a Delaware State University communications instructor, said he started knocking on doors in the 34th District in late spring and, to date, has visited more than 4,500 families that graciously allowed him to interrupt dinner many times.
"Our main issues in the 34th district are highest-in-the-state water and sewer rates and lack of open accounting by the Camden Wyoming Water & Sewer Authority and continual episodes of 'brown water' that plague the same residents," he said. "It took a Freedom of Information Act by Kent County Comptroller Georgette Williams to take the accounting issue to Superior Court in early October."
Yacucci said he would also seek to pass legislation that protects manufactured homeowners from unjustified land-rent increases and seek a greater emphasis on talented and gifted programs for Caesar Rodney School District so that parents don't have to rely on Capital for such programs. He would also seek to capitalize on the 34th District's geographic advantages and human resources to attract new businesses and jobs.
Page 2 of 2 - Beatty, who started campaigning before the primary, pledged to be a full-time legislator that would not seek a long career in Dover but, rather, would seek term limits.
"My platform is basically one issue: Equal protection under the law," said Beatty, a semi retired IT specialist. "To that end I will be introducing or co-sponsoring legislation for a statewide inspector general with broad investigative and subpoena powers to start curtailing waste and fraud."
Beatty said jobs, education, affordable housing and rising crime were what constituents were concerned with as well as "a general consensus" that the political system was corrupt and served the politicians more than the public.
"As an outsider and not affiliated with any party machine I have wide latitude to act in the interest of the people," he said.
Yacucci believes the Democratic Party's emphasis on ensuring protections for the middle class is an important factor in this district, where Democrats hold the edge in voter registration.
Beatty pointed out that the incumbent had gained popularity as a moderate Republican. But he believes the independents can win this seat given the number of third party voters and major party voters unhappy with the status quo.
Blakey, meanwhile, said being able to produce concrete and applicable solutions that benefit everyone was more important than numbers. He worries not if a person is a Republican, Democrat or independent when they approach him with problems that need solutions.