Democrat for 8th District Representative
Each candidate was asked to respond to three questions.
1. What are the top issues you will address in your campaign and what are your plans for moving those issues forward?
When first elected in 2008, constituents charged me with going to Dover and working on the State Budget and working to help create new jobs for the District and the State. I utilized my business background and worked hard with State and Local officials to help create the environment that would attract new businesses. Middletown has become the fastest growing economic and residential growth area in the state.
Since I was elected, we have seen the addition of Christiana Care, Health South, Amazon, Johnson Controls, Datwyler, and a host of other business and residential startups. A significant number of construction jobs have been created for new homes, new roads, and new schools. State wide, we have created the STAR campus on the old Chrysler Plant in Newark. Bank of America and other banks have added thousands of jobs and we have just completed a public/private partnership for the Port of Wilmington which will add over 5,000 jobs to our state. Because of the environment we have created, a large number of people are making the choice to move to the MOT community and the State of Delaware. I will continue to be a part of the team that has successfully improved the economy of our State and work with companies in the creation of more quality jobs.
However, the growth in our community does bring the increased need for improved and added infrastructure. As Chair of the Capital Infrastructure committee, I will continue to fight for improved roads like the addition of the 301 project, the widening of Rt. 299, improvements to Choptank Road, and the upcoming improvements to Cedar Lane and Marl Pitt Roads. I also will make sure the funds necessary to build the new schools our community needs are provided.
High quality education is vitally important to the success and wellbeing of a community. ALL children deserve access to high quality education opportunities. The Appoquinimink School District is viewed as one of the best in the state and is also one of the reasons for the growth of our local community. Families move to our area so that their children can have access to the education our school district provides. I will continue my efforts in ensuring that ALL children, not just in our district but throughout the state have equal access to high quality education opportunities. The strength of our state relies significantly on the quality of education our students receive. I will continue my support of improving High Quality Early education through the STARS initiative we created as well as access to secondary education for Delaware students through the SEED and INSPIRE scholarship programs. We will also continue supporting the work pathway initiatives that provide opportunities for students to enter the workforce with skills necessary for their success.
Due to our low tax structure, our state has also been attractive for the relocation of retirees from many of our neighboring states. I have been proud to support our local MOT Senior center, improvements in Para Transit for our community, and increased health care opportunities like Health South and Christiana care. Services that are important to have locally and help support the health and wellbeing of our citizens. Additionally, as our community grows support for increased police and paramedic services are needed. I will continue providing the financial support our police and fire departments obtain through our Grant in Aid support as well as the Capital investments we have made as part of our budget. We have also fought the opioid addiction issues by providing all first responders with NARCAN and created a Continuance of Care System for overdose patients, the first in the nation.
We have experienced great success over the past 10 years. However, with that success new issues that need to be addressed will certainly arise. I will continue to work hard and will be part of the team that addresses and works to resolve these issues.
2. What makes you uniquely qualified for the political office you seek?
Experience, Commitment, and Compassion! I have been a small business owner for 25 years, the State Representative for the 8th District for 10 years, and the House Chair of the Capital Infrastructure Committee for 6 years. I have stood up and had the courage to make the hard decisions when needed and have focused on what is best for our community and state. We have seen significant growth in our local community and great improvement in the overall economy.
Our state operates a $4.2 Billion dollar budget and as House Chair of the Capital Infrastructure portion of our budget, I have been able to share my knowledge as a small business owner in crafting improvements to the budget process. When working with constituents on the individual problems they face, I already have the network of contacts and the background knowledge required that allows me to help solve their problems.
In my view, the issues we tackle are serious and the knowledge I have gained in performing my job as a State Representative allow me to tackle the issues that face our community. I am extremely honored to have been elected to serve the residents of the 8th district and wish to receive the honor again so that I may continue to work hard for our community and State.
3. What community groups are you involved with and in what capacity?
I am a current Board Member of the Riverfront Development Corporation, Board member of the Wilmington Port Corporation, a supporter of the MACC Middletown Area Chamber of Commerce, a supporter of the MOT Rotary, supporter of the MOT Senior Center, supporter of the Everette Theatre, supporter of Volunteer Hose, and former coach for MOT Soccer and Baseball Clubs.
Profession/employment: Small Business Owner Tender Loving Kare Childcare & Learning Centers
# of years employed: 25 years in business
Education: BS Degree Salisbury University Business Management
Political experience: I am the current State Representative for the 8th District, elected in 2008. I am the current House Chair of the Capital Infrastructure Committee which oversees funding for Schools, State Buildings and Infrastructure. Current co-chair of the Small Business Caucus. Current co-chair of House Agricultural Committee