Republican state senate candidate Eric Bodenweiser received a ringing endorsement last week from former U.S. Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell.
O'Donnell was the guest speaker at a Georgetown fundraiser for the District 19 candidate on Sept. 27 and presented the 53-year-old, retired business owner with a $600 campaign contribution, the largest allowable by law.
"The establishment in Delaware is corrupt and it's not going to change unless every day Delawareans lock arms and keep beating down that door," she told the more than 50 supporters who attended the event at Bodenweiser's campaign headquarters on North Bedford Street. "[Bodenweiser] will stand up to the lords of the backroom and we need someone like that speaking on our behalf."
During his remarks, Bodenweiser presented the same blend of social and fiscal conservatism that helped him pull out a primary win over incumbent state senator Joe Booth.
"When we win in November, it's going to be because of all of us who hold to the principals and values that founded this very nation, and that includes Christianity," he said. "In order to turn this nation around, we're going to have to get that Bible back in our schools. We're going to have to start honoring family and marriages … Another thing we've got to do is stop abortion."
If elected, Bodenweiser said he also would work to help Bridgeville meet its water and sewer infrastructure needs, promote continued expansion of the Sussex County Airport in Georgetown, address the needs of manufactured housing residents in Long Neck and protect tourism by funding dredging along the inland bays.
"Our state government must foster an environment that is business and job friendly," he added. "We've got to roll back the regulations that are now hindering us here in Delaware."
O'Donnell, who gained national notoriety on her way to upsetting U.S. Rep. Mike Castle in the 2010 Republican primary for U.S. Senate, drew comparisons between her run for office and Bodenweiser's campaign.
O'Donnell noted that she and Bodenweiser both upset establishment candidates and both have yet to receive a phone call from their primary opponent.
"That concerns me because that was one of the detriments in my race," she said, referring to her eventual loss to Democrat Chris Coons. "Before that happened, I was winning in the polls and when we didn't have a united party, that's what really hurt our chances."
O'Donnell implored those in attendance to reach out to their neighbors, including those who supported Booth, in an effort to form a united front in Bodenweiser's general election campaign against Georgetown Democrat Jane Hovington.
"If everybody in this room can reach out to two Booth supporters [and] two undecided voters and then make sure those four people get their butts to the polls and vote for Eric on Nov. 6, there is no question that we will win," she said.
Bodenweiser, who referred to O'Donnell as a "heavy hitter" with "a lot of star power," credited her with making the night a success.
"She certainly brought a lot of people here who hadn't seen her in Sussex County in a while and were glad to see her again," he said.
It didn't hurt that O'Donnell made national headlines a week earlier by announcing that she was mulling another run for U.S. Senate in 2014.
O'Donnell, however, downplayed those remarks during Bodenweiser's fundraiser.
"Tonight's about Eric," she said when asked about her future in politics. "I think that the immediate goal is to make sure that candidates like Eric get elected in November and then I'll start weighing all the factors … When the time is right I'll being to assess everything else that is going on in my life, that is going on in the Republican Party here in Delaware and that is going on nationally, as well."
In the meantime, O'Donnell said, he's happy to be following the 2012 election from the sidelines.
"For me, driving around Delaware the last couple of weeks, on every corner there is a bunch of signs," she said. "And I'll be honest. I'm so glad my name isn't on one of them."
CHECK OUT OUR VIDEO AND PHOTO GALLERY FROM THE EVENT ON THE FRONT PAGE OF OUR WEBSITE.