Tom Kovach is the GOP’s nominee for Delaware's lone congressional seat.
The party-endorsed Brandywine Hundred republican eased past Wilmington’s Rose Izzo in Tuesday's primary, setting up a showdown with incumbent John Carney, a Democrat.
Kovach, who currently holds the seat of New Castle County Council president, received 65.5 percent of the more than 24,000 votes cast.
Kovach watched the results come in at Republican Party Headquarters in Wilmington and said he was thrilled to win comprehensively in all three counties.
“It feels great,” Kovach said. “I figured I had support in New Castle County, but to get the support in Kent and Sussex counties I did means a lot to me. I worked hard down there and I didn’t always tell people what they wanted to hear.”
Kovach said Izzo challenged him to take “extreme” stances pledging to oppose any tax increase and denouncing the Affordable Care Act.
“We’re cutting discretionary spending, we’re even cutting the military and we’re still in deficit spending levels,” Kovach said. “I governed for three years without raising taxes, but to just say ‘we’re not raising taxes under any circumstance’ is irresponsible.”
Instead, he said he’d work hard to reverse “well-meaning” regulations that in the end are burdensome to doing good business and creating jobs.
“There are some regulations out there where the cost of compliance is worse than a tax,” he said. “We need to identify them and get rid of them.”
Kovach said he didn’t plan to campaign against Carney as much as “for the state of Delaware.” He did position himself as the campaign’s grassroots candidate, however, claiming more than 90 percent of his campaign funds are from individual donors.
James Allen, Carney’s campaign manager, said Carney would campaign would run on his record over his last two years in Congress and previous tenure as Delaware’s lieutenant governor.
“Congressman Carney looks forward to campaigning across the state and telling Delawareans about the legislation he's passed to create jobs, his efforts to reduce the deficit in a responsible way, and the bipartisan policy group he founded to address the serious challenges facing the country,” Allen said.
Izzo could not be reached for comment, but her husband Kevin, who is also her campaign manager, said his wife was “disappointed after putting in so much hard work since 2010,” when she first ran for Congress.
“Delaware is a blue state and it’s difficult to run as a conservative here,” Kevin Izzo said.
Page 2 of 2 - He said he was unsure what his wife’s political future would hold, but said she would work hard over the next two months “to defeat President Obama in the presidential election.”
Despite the disappointment, though, Izzo said he and his wife were honored to have taken part in the political process.
“Especially on this day (Sept. 11), to be able to take part in the democratic process is wonderful,” he said.