Delaware primary review: less than 25% of offices up in November appeared on primary ballot

Delaware held its statewide primary on September 15, 2020. Candidates competed to advance to the general election scheduled for November 3. In Delaware, unopposed primary candidates automatically advance to the general election. Consequently, only 13 state-level offices were on the primary ballot even though 55 seats are up for election in 2020. There were 15 state-level primaries held.

Candidates ran in elections for the following offices:

• Governor: Incumbent Gov. John C. Carney Jr. defeated challenger David Lamar Williams Jr. in the Democratic primary. Julianne Murray advanced from the Republican primary, defeating five other candidates. They face Kathy DeMatteis (Independent Party) and John Machurek (Libertarian) in the general election.

• Lieutenant governor: Both the Democratic and Republican primaries were canceled. Incumbent Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long (D) and challenger Donyale Hall (R) automatically advanced to the general election.

• Insurance Commissioner: Incumbent Trinidad Navarro defeated challenger Kayode Abegunde in the Democratic primary. Navarro faces Julia Pillsbury (R), who had no primary opposition and automatically advanced to the general election.

• Delaware State Senate (11 seats): Five primaries were opposed and on the ballot—four Democratic primaries and one Republican primary. Two contested primaries featured incumbents, both Democrats. District 14 incumbent Bruce Ennis defeated two challengers to advance to the general election. District 13 incumbent David McBride lost to challenger Marie Pinkney. The remaining three primaries did not feature incumbents and were in Districts 1, 5, and 14. The District 14 primary was the only Republican state legislative primary on the ballot in Delaware. District 1 is the only open state Senate seat in the 2020 election cycle.

• Delaware House of Representatives (41 seats): Seven primaries were opposed and on the ballot—all Democratic primaries. Five contested primaries featured incumbents, all Democrats. Incumbents in Districts 4 and 10 advanced to the general election. Incumbents in Districts 7 and 27 were defeated. The District 26 race was still too close to call as of September 17, 2020. The remaining two primaries did not feature incumbents and were in Districts 8 and 34. District 8 is the only open state House seat in the 2020 election cycle.

Delaware’s primary was the 49th to take place in the 2020 election cycle. The next and last primary is on November 3 in Louisiana.




About the author

Marielle Bricker

Marielle Bricker is a staff writer at Ballotpedia. Contact us at editor@ballotpedia.org.

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