Here are replies that we received from three questions emailed to each candidate - those with no opponent have been left off our list.

In Kent County, the election will determine who holds the offices of Clerk of the Peace, Register of Wills, Levy Court District 1, Senate District 14 and House Districts 11, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 and 34.

Each candidate was asked in an email to answer three questions:

What are the top issues you will address in your campaign and what are your plans for moving those issues forward? -- What makes you uniquely qualified for the political office you seek? -- What community groups are you involved with and in what capacity?

Their answers:

House District 11 David Neilson - D

DNEILSON17@GMAIL.COM

What are the top issues you will address in your campaign and what are your plans for moving those issues forward?

 Although my campaign platform contains three issues, I feel there are many important issues that need to be addressed.  The people of the 11th District will always be my main focus and have my dedicated service.  The second issues will be first responders and those associated with 911.  Public safety and those who offer the public safety should be a priority.  The third is agriculture.  Agriculture and the people of this industry need government support and backing.

What makes you uniquely qualified for the political office you seek?

I feel there are many things that make me qualified for the 11th district representative office.  The fact that I have lived in the district going on twenty years and have an understanding of the needs of the people of the district.  The fact that I have been a public servant as a police officer in the state of Delaware has given me an understanding of what laws work and what laws don’t.  Lastly,  I feel I am qualified because I have grown several successful small business and I know the difficulties that face these types of business and how government can be more supportive.

What community groups are you involved with and in what capacity?

 Volunteered, donated, and supported the following:

The Benedictine School Crozier Foundation Food Bank of Delaware FFA (Future Farmers of America) United Way Canter (retired thoroughbred organization) Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition COPS (Concerns of Police Survivors) Delaware Veterans Goodwill March of Dimes Delaware Cobras Delaware Blood Bank Peoples Place Profile:

Campaign website: FriendsofDavidNeilson.com
Facebook: @FriendsofDavidNeilson
Profession/employment: Retiring from the New Castle County Police
Years employed:  20
Education: Bachelor's Degree in Government from Liberty University
Political affiliation: Democrat

Jeffrey Spiegelman - R

JEFF@JEFFDEREPRESENTATIVE.COM

What are the top issues you will address in your campaign and what are your plans for moving those issues forward?

Since I was first elected I have been focused on reforming a regulatory system that is annoying at best, crushing at worst.  Thanks to your support, we have had some big successes doing just that.  However, there is still much work to be done if we are to get government out of the way to create more jobs, foster more local control of education, let farmers farm, and to live as free as possible from government intrusion.

The 11th District, like so many around the state, has faced more than its share of safety issues.  Many of these are due to problems with our infrastructure, but also due to crime and our rampant drug problem.  I am proud to have worked with Republicans and Democrats on finding common ground and common solutions to these issues up and down the state.  I will continue to fight for your safety as your representative.  I will also continue to fight for our outstanding first responders.

We need an education system in Delaware worthy of this great state and we need it soon.  Our children need schools that prepare them for the job market, the military, or college.  I have been proud to support legislation aimed at easing a bit of the burden of standardized testing in order to give schools the freedom they need to get the most our of our youth.  My son will soon be entering the public school system and I want him to be ready to face the challenges of our world armed with a highquality education.  

What makes you uniquely qualified for the political office you seek?

For the past four years, I have been proud to serve you in the Delaware General Assembly as the representative of the 11th District.  Thank you so much for the trust and faith you have shown me.  I hope you will choose to honor me again with your vote and your support.   

What community groups are you involved with and in what capacity?

Former educator at the Air Mobility Command Museum Ducks Unlimited Member NRA Life Member National Jewish Republican Coalition Founder and cochair of the Delaware Sportsman Caucus Member of the Delaware Small Business Caucus Endorsed by Delaware State Educators Association Delaware State Troopers Association Delaware State Sportsman Association

Committees

Economic Development Revenue and Finance Housing and Urban Development Veterans Affairs Judiciary Legislative Review and Sunset Profile:

Campaign website: www.jeffDErepresentative.com
Facebook: friends4jeff
Twitter: friends4jeff
Profession/employment: College Politics and History Instructor
Years employed: 9
Education: Smyrna High School class of 2001. 2005 BS Ithaca College. 2007 MA Military History from Norwich University
Political affiliation: Republican
Political experience: Elected to Delaware General Assembly, 11th District, 2012

House District 29 Trey Paradee - D

TREYPARADEE@GMAIL.COM

What are the top issues you will address in your campaign and what are your plans for moving those issues forward?

Delaware’s unemployment rate is currently 4.5%, which is one of the lowest in our country; however, there are many Delaware families struggling to make ends meet. We need to do a better job attracting higher paying jobs to Delaware. To do this, we must continue to reform regulations and remove barriers that make it difficult to open a business or move a business to Delaware. I also support policies that help to increase pay for lower wage earners, which is why I supported legislation that would have increased the minimum wage to $10.25 by 2020. Every dollar that is put into the pocket of lower wage earners is immediately spent, which has a positive ripple effect throughout the economy.  

The cost of energy is one of the most important issues for manufacturing companies that might consider building facilities in Delaware. I have been a champion for reducing electric rates in Delaware, leading the Delaware General Assembly’s fight against the federal cost sharing allocation for the Artificial Island powerline project, which would have unfairly burdened Delaware businesses and families with higher electric rates.

People who live in my district know that I am a fighter. I show up to public hearings and speak out loudly when something affects the quality of life in the 29th District. I address problems, and I take government agencies to task when they are wrong or make mistakes. I get results. I intend to continue this same level of service if I am re-elected.

What makes you uniquely qualified for the political office you seek?

I was born and raised in Kent County. My father was a small business owner, who put me to work at a young age. My mother was a nurse with the State’s Division of Aging, who worked with the elderly. I became an Eagle Scout and earned a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA). I raised two children, who attended local public schools. I have been a truck driver, a pipe fitter, an HVAC installer, a salesman, and a construction manager. 15 years ago, I became a financial advisor, helping families save for college and retirement, and, 6 years ago, I started my own business. Along the way, I have volunteered my time and expertise for numerous community and charitable organizations. I understand how difficult it is to raise a family and start a business, and I have a deep, interminable love for Delaware and my community.

What community groups are you involved with and in what capacity?

Executive Committee Member, Boy Scouts of America, Del-Mar-Va Council Advisory Board Member, Code Purple Kent County Special Trustee, Delaware Technical and Community College, Education Foundation Development Council Member, Delaware Technical and Community College, Terry Campus Past Youth Lacrosse Coach. Camden Mid-State Revolution Past Board Member, Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce Past Mentor, Boys and Girls Club Past Vice President and Event Director, Boy Scouts of America, Two Bays District Eagle Scout, 1984   Profile:

Campaign website: www.electparadee.com
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/repparadee
Profession/employment: Small business owner. Financial planner. Paradee Financial LLC
Years employed: Since middle school. 15 years in my current profession.
Education: University of Delaware, BA, 1991. University of Delaware, MBA, 1998.
Political affiliation: Democrat
Political experience: Elected to current position in 2012

Janice Gallagher - R

JANGALLA@COMCAST.NET

Did not reply. Ruth James - Green  Did not reply; no email. House District 30 Charles Groce - D

CHARLES.GROCE@HUGHES.NET

What are the top issues you will address in your campaign and what are your plans for moving those issues forward?

1. Improving Transportation and infrastructure in the 30th district and the state. 2. Advocating for the farmers and small business owners to propel the job market in Kent County. 3. Work for our first responders by finding ways to bolster their membership and support their efforts.

What makes you uniquely qualified for the political office you seek?

Lifetime career in public service to the country and state.

What community groups are you involved with and in what capacity?

Member of the American Legion, Member of Crossroads Christian Church, Member of the United States Trotting Association.

Profile:

Campaign website: www.Charlesgroce.com
Profession/employment: Retired Delaware State Police/Retired USAF Reserves
Years employed: 25 with DSP/ 24 with USAF
Education: Graduated Caesar Rodney H.S. - BA Business Administration Ursinus College Minor in Political Science
Political affiliation: Democrat
Political experience: First run for public office

William Outten- R

BOBBY.OUTTEN@STATE.DE.US

Did not reply. House District 32 Patricia Foltz - R PFOLTZ1983@COMCAST.NET


What are the top issues you will address in your campaign and what are your plans for moving those issues forward?


Economy/Jobs: Delaware needs to provide a friendly climate to attract business resulting in the creation of quality jobs.

Public Safety: Delawareans need to feel safe in their homes. I have watched with concern the increase in crime in Dover and the surrounding area. Much of this is due to the heroin epidemic. We need to stop addiction before it starts by strengthening the family unit, providing drug education in school and addressing the opiate drug abuse problem.

Education: Our teachers need to know that we appreciate their hard work because they are the key to unlocking the bright futures of our youth and also the future of Delaware. Let teachers teach by removing the mandate of high stakes testing.

Delaware needs to restore balance in government. The Delaware Legislature must find workable solutions to these needs.


What makes you uniquely qualified for the political office you seek?


I have lived in Kent County and in the 32nd District my entire life. I have been knocking on doors and meeting the citizens of the 32nd RD for the past 15 weeks in order to learn what is impacting them right now. For example, Dover is no longer the quiet town it was even four years ago. We have citizens living in fear because the sound of gunfire is becoming far too familiar. Because of this crime, residents are seeing their properties appraise for less and small businesses are pulling out of these areas.


What community groups are you involved with and in what capacity?


I have worked with the Dover Interfaith Mission and Kent County SPCA, where I served as a Board member. I also volunteered with the American Heart Association and worked as a co-chair of the American Cancer Society’s Daffodil Days. I am a lifelong member of Wesley United Methodist Church.

Profile:

Campaign website: http://pattyfoltz32nd.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PatriciaMFoltzfor32
Twitter: https://twitter.com/manager4Foltz32
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoMGAE6Oig4-N37SZpty_dA
Profession/employment: Retired teacher
Years employed: 36
Education: Bachelor of Science degree from Delaware State University and a Master of Education degree from Wilmington University
Political affiliation: Republican
Political experience: 32nd RD Chair, Kent Region Vice Chair, DSEA Building Representative, DSEA Political Action chair.

Andria Bennett - D ANDRIAVBENNETT#32@GMAIL.COM Did not reply. House District 33 Karen Williams - D

ELECTKARENWILLIAMS@GMAIL.COM

What are the top issues you will address in your campaign and what are your plans for moving those issues forward?

My top priorities would be education and the economy.  As a 30-year educator I have seen first hand the problems with over testing our students.  Testing is stressful for the students and the teachers, with both groups trying to demonstrate a large amount of growth on one assessment.  As a parent I’ve seen the stress at home from my son who wants to do his best for himself, his parents as well as his teachers.  This is an unjust burden to place on our young people.  In addition the investment of time to give the tests takes away from instructional time, which could be used for continued learning.  We should focus on educating our youth rather than only training them to be good test-takers.  The way that we fund our schools is unjust, as well; over taxation at the local level and less wealthy districts are still struggling.  I would explore supplementing that funding but setting local school tax revenue caps and shifting funds in excess of that cap from wealthier districts to others.  Delaware is a small enough state for all wealth of the State to be treated as a whole.  Our children are the future of the entire State.

The economy is also one of my top priorities, and it goes hand-in-hand with education.  Job creation and maintaining the current jobs we have is vital to keep our economy growing.  Our students are leaving the area to attend college or receive job training and trade skills; we need to make sure that there are high paying jobs for them to come back to.  We need to foster a business-friendly environment and reduce the cost of business to make sure that there are jobs available for people who want to work hard and for Delawareans who want to return to our community, make a living and raise their families.

What makes you uniquely qualified for the political office you seek?

I am not a politician.  I am a concerned neighbor who has a plan to make things better for all of us.  I am a life long resident of Kent County and a graduate of Lake Forest High School.  My parents, Jean and Billy Wothers of Felton, are known for a life full of faith and service, so as a young Delawarean, I always pursued a journey committed to my community.  After graduating from the University of Delaware, I began my nearly thirty-year teaching career and then earned a Master of Arts degree in History from Washington College.  My experience as an educator has led me to numerous additional opportunities to give back to our community, as well.  I serve as a Board Member for the Food Bank of Delaware and was recently named the “Food Bank of Delaware Community Member of the Year,” I teach Sunday School at the Felton United Methodist Church, serve as an advisor to numerous student organizations, and have been awarded the “Earl Reum Region Award,” the “Benjamin F. Burton Humanitarian Award,” the “University of Delaware Excellence in Education Award,” and the “Delaware Association of Student Councils Advisor of the Year” award.

As Representative for the 33rd District, I will serve the needs of my constituents while also embodying Kent County values.  By voting Karen Williams, you’re not only electing an educator with thirty years of experience to address the problems plaguing our public education system; you are electing a leader with an unprecedented track record in community service and who will coordinate infrastructure projects with constituents, so residents aren’t forced to drive four miles out of their way, just to get to work.  I will embrace our dynamic economy so that any person who works hard will achieve economic dignity.  I will give Delaware teachers what they need in order to do their jobs effectively, starting with fewer mandated exams and eliminating useless limitations on teaching.  With a strong education system, elimination of wasteful spending, and smart investments, a strong economy and jobs will follow.  With Karen Williams in office, Kent County will have a Representative who will listen and address the concerns of her constituents, while maintaining the respect and integrity that the public deserves.

What community groups are you involved with and in what capacity?

I have always tried to be involved in my community and instill the same values in my students.  I currently serve as a member of the Board of Directors at the Food Bank of Delaware.  I am also active in my church, Felton United Methodist Church, where I teach Sunday School.  Outside of my responsibilities in the classroom, I have been involved in Lake Forest School District community serving as a former Student Council Advisor.  I established the Make A Wish Minute Program at Lake Forest High School in 1999, which has gone on to raise over $200,000 which has been donated to local charities and citizens.

Profile:

Campaign website:     http://electkarenwilliams.com/
Facebook: @ElectKarenWilliams
Twitter: @electwilliams33
Profession/employment:    I have been a high school social studies teacher for 30 years.
Years employed: 30 years.
Education: Master of Arts (History), Washington College, 1993; Bachelor of Arts (Political Science, Art), University of Delaware, 1985; Lake Forest High School, 1981.
Political affiliation: Democrat
Political experience: I am not a politician and have not yet held elective office.  I do serve as a director on the Board of the Food Bank of Delaware.

Charles Postles Jr. - R

CSPOSTLES@GMAIL.COM

Did not reply. Levy Court District 5
George (Jody) Sweeney - D

SWEEJODY@HOTMAIL.COM

What are the top issues you will address in your campaign and what are your plans for moving those issues forward?

I see the division between homeowners and HOA’s being an issue, especially those that are still run by the developer. Many promises have not been kept to those homeowners, the disposition of fees collected is not disclosed to homeowners, and services are not maintained.
The County will be reviewing the Comprehensive Plan, which sets the planning process for growth in housing, attracting businesses, park development, for the next 10 years. It is critical that a fair-minded person be involved in this process.


What makes you uniquely qualified for the political office you seek?

I have lived in the County for 55 years, and in the 5th District for 51. As a graduate of Caesar Rodney in 1978, and having lived in Rodney Village, near Old Mill Rd, and now Wyoming, I know the area very well. I know the people who want me to represent them and will bend over backwards to assist them. As the Commissioner in this District for the last 8 years, I have helped hundreds of residents with issues ranging from a neighbors grass, farm animals, or loud music to developers who failed to build a clubhouse as promised.


What community groups are you involved with and in what capacity?

I am a 9 year member of the Viola-Canterbury-Felton Ruritan. Ruritan is a civic service organization dedicated to improving communities and building a better America through Fellowship, Goodwill and Community Service. Ruritan’s purpose is to create a better understanding among people and through volunteer community service, make America’s communities better places in which to live and work. I have been the Chair of the Public Service Committee for most of those nine years, serving communities from Camden to Felton.

Profile:

Campaign website: www.friendsforjodysweeney.com
Facebook: Jody Sweeney for Levy Court
Twitter: @jodysweeney
Other social media:
Profession/employment: Supervisor of Technology, Smyrna School District
Years employed: 3 yrs at Smyrna, 4 yrs at Wesley College, 9 yrs at DelDOT, 10 yrs at State Department of Technology and Information
Education: Assoc Degree (DelTech), Bachelors in Science (Business Management)
Political affiliation: Democrat
Political experience: 2 term Levy Court Commissioner

John Sigler - R Did not reply. House District 34 David Henderson - D
DHENDERSON_19934@YAHOO.COM

What are the top issues you will address in your campaign and what are your plans for moving those issues forward?


I pledge to be a strong advocate for criminal justice, safe schools and public safety in Kent County and Delaware as a whole. The drug abuse epidemic in our area is touching people and families who never imagined they’d be in that position, and it’s clear to me that our plans to fight back will have to involve more than just our local law enforcement officers. We must punish those who seek to pollute our community with drugs and crime, but we must also show compassion to those struggling with addiction.

I am a big supporter of education. Our children are our future and we must invest in school systems to ensure that we have quality programs so that our children are best prepared for success.

I will also be a champion for small business in Legislative Hall.Delaware does a great deal to help big business interests, and I think we should be doing just as much to support the little guy. Everyone knows how vital our small businesses are; let’s make sure we’re dedicating enough state resources to help them do what they do best – give people jobs and power our local economy.


What makes you uniquely qualified for the political office you seek?

My family and I have deep roots in our community where I have lived for over 45 years. I am thankful for all that it’s given me from my career as a state trooper to the Caesar Rodney Schools that my daughter has been fortunate to attend. My employment history, work ethic and collaborative efforts in the community have given me experiences that make me well qualified for this position. Throughout my life, I have looked for ways to be of service to others and it’s in that spirit that I am asking for the opportunity to be a voice in state government for my neighbors.


What community groups are you involved with and in what capacity?

I serve on the Caesar Rodney Parent Advisory Council. I have volunteered and contributed to the Delaware Special Olympics, Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition, Camp Barnes, Delaware State Troopers Retired Association and Camden Wyoming Little League, member of the Masons.

Profile:

Facebook: Dave Henderson for State Rep
Profession/employment: United States Air Force Veteran, Retired Del State Police Sergeant, currently Chairman of the Board of Parole
Years employed: Air Force 4 years, State Trooper 21 years, 4 years Chairman of the Board of Parole
Education: Associate Degree in Criminal Justice from Delaware Technical and Community College
Political affiliation: Democrat
Political experience: 10 years Caesar Rodney Board of Education, 4 years as president

Lyndon Yearick - R
LYNDON.YEARICK34RD@GMAIL.COM

What are the top issues you will address in your campaign and what are your plans for moving those issues forward?

1.    We need to install fiscal discipline in regard to our state’s spending, the results and value it produces, and our revenue collection. This is the most important priority the state faces and will continue to face because of the challenges with our revenue and tax collection versus our spending. The first bill I introduced was HCR3. It recommended the creation of the Delaware Efficiency and Cost Containment Committee in order to address the efficiency of our state’s spending.

2.    My second priority is to continue my focus on economic development and job creation based on what we do best – agriculture, small businesses and entrepreneurs, and tourism. For agriculture, I have sponsored bills to promote and encourage the purchase of local farm produce. I was the prime sponsor for HB228 that would have allowed our craft breweries, wineries, and distilleries to sell their products at farmers’ markets and other agriculture related events. I have been a member of the Small Business Caucus. I have supported our Delaware Competes Bill and the Delaware Commitment to Innovation Act to promote research and development in Delaware.  We need to focus on our strengths (Agriculture, Small Businesses / Entrepreneurship and Tourism). For agriculture, we need to fully fund our Farmland Preservation Program, implement a fair approach to our storm water management regulations, and the expansion of higher value agriculture jobs with our Food Innovation Districts. In order to retain or expand our manufacturing and construction industries, we need to address the major issues of high corporate income taxes with the Gross Receipts Tax, provide counties or targeted geographical areas the opportunity to try Right to Work zones with our private sector employers, review our Coastal Zone Act, reform or exit the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative that impacts the high energy costs in New Castle County, and reform the prevailing wage system. Without these adjustments, Delaware will be at an economic disadvantage and uncompetitive as manufacturers compare Delaware versus other states like Texas, South Carolina, etc.

3.    We absolutely need to have leaders willing to address the state’s spending on our state employees’ healthcare system and Medicaid. Our annual state budget cannot sustain the current $1.5 billion in spending on these two items. I sponsored HCR81 to strongly encourage employees and state health plan participants to make good choices like being a wise health care consumer, choosing lower cost health care services, getting appropriate level of care, managing chronic diseases and engaging in wellness and prevention.


What makes you uniquely qualified for the political office you seek?

In 2014, the people of the 34th district elected me to serve as their state representative. It is a great privilege and a position I take very seriously. In my first term, I have worked very hard to earn the trust and respect of my constituents. I have been extremely accessible and engaged in the 34th district. For my constituents, I held five town halls, participated with three other events, held multiple community meetings with the governor, and attended countless number of HOA and community meetings. I have built relationships with our state police, local police departments, volunteer fire companies, community associations, and neighborhoods in order to promote neighborhood safety and good lines of communication. For my general assembly colleagues, I have earned their respect. I’m prepared and professional in my engagement with my internal constituents. As an example, in 2015, I was selected to attend the Robert J. Thompson eastern leadership academy for legislators. From my first term, I can state I focused on what I said I would do and believe I have earned the trust of the constituents of the 34th district for a second term in 2016. The 34th District demands and expects a Representative with consistent principles, positions, and who delivers on what he promises. Constituents should know where their legislator or candidate stands on issues like reforming the prevailing wage system, raising the minimum wage, Project Labor Agreements for state construction projects, Right to Work laws, making Delaware a sanctuary state, providing undocumented immigrants driving privilege cards, legalizing marijuana, fully funding our Farmland Preservation Program, and how best to improve our state’s budget situation. I’ve knocked on hundreds of doors in the 34th District, shared what I accomplished, and most importantly, listened to my constituents’ questions, comments, and concerns.  People are busy working, raising families, volunteering their time, etc. They want responsible, engaged, and committed individuals to represent them. They want a return to common sense, fiscal responsibility, and a focus on what’s important. It has been an honor to serve as the representative in the 34th District. I know the issues in the state, have offered solutions, and will continue to present a strong voice to challenge the direction the state is heading.


What community groups are you involved with and in what capacity?

I attend the Wyoming Church. During the last twenty years, I’ve served on boards for the Salvation Army of Dover, Central Delaware Habitat for Humanity, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Young Life of Central Delaware, Camden-Wyoming Little League, Attack Addiction, and the Quarterback Club of Kent County. I have coached numerous Camden-Wyoming Little League teams and youth basketball teams. I’m a member of the Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce and a graduate of the Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Program.

Profile:

Facebook: Lyndon Yearick
Other social media: LinkedIn
Profession/employment: Kaplan Test Prep, Graduate Program Manager MD and DE
Years employed: Four
Education: B.S in Business Administration Bloomsburg University / MBA Penn State University
Political affiliation: Republican
Political experience: Elected 2014 for State Representative, 34th District

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Neither candidate for the following offices replied:

Clerk of the Peace
Brenda Wooten - DBWOOT1448@AOL.COM DJ Silicato - R DEEJ3335@COMCAST.NET

 .

Register of Wills
Harold Brode - D No email. Michael Routh - R MICHAEL.ROUTH@COMCAST.NET

 ..

Levy Court District 1
Brooks Banta - D PBBANTA@AOL.COM Charlotte Middleton - R No email.     Senate District 14
Bruce Ennis - D BRUCE.ENNIS@STATE.DE.US Carl Pace - R PACEFORSENATE@GMAIL.COM   House District 31 Sean Lynn - D SEAN@SEANLYNNLAW.COM Jean Dowding - R DOWDINGGROUP@OUTLOOK.COM  

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Candidates for each office are presented in the order their answers were received. If they submitted a photo, it is included.