Delaware Lt. Governor Denn to Run for Attorney General - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Delaware Lt. Governor Denn to Run for Attorney General

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Delaware Lt. Gov. Matt Denn (Photo: WBOC) Delaware Lt. Gov. Matt Denn (Photo: WBOC)
DOVER, Del.- Delaware Lt. Gov. Matt Denn on Monday morning filed to run as a Democratic candidate for the Attorney General's office. His decision came just days after Beau Biden announced he would seek a third term in order to run for governor in 2016.

Denn, who was seen as a potential candidate for governor, said that Biden's announcement led him to consider a run for attorney general.

"It has been a hard decision, partly because I really like the job I have right now," Denn said in a statement. " I am proud of the work I have done as Delaware's lieutenant governor and insurance commissioner, working to help small businesses, improve our schools, protect consumers and to look out for Delaware's children, and I hope that the state is better for my time in those offices."

Denn said that after speaking with his family, "I've realized that the Attorney General’s office would allow me to take a leadership role on some issues that are critical to our state, while still staying involved in the issues involving Delaware’s children that have been the core of my work over the last six years."

Denn is in his second term as lieutenant governor. He was also state insurance commissioner. And he has more than a decade of experience as lawyer, though not as a prosecutor.

"I don't think not having been a front-line prosecutor will be an impediment to [being AG]," he said.

Dr. Eric Rise, a professor in criminal justice at University of Delaware, says he was surprised by Denn's announcement, but it makes sense he wants to be AG. Rise says there's just not as much power in the job of lieutenant governor as there is in attorney general.

"It's a position that has a great deal of power, authority and visibility."

The job also doesn't have term limits, like lieutenant governor and governor do. Rise says running is a low-risk move for Denn, because his second term as lieutenant governor only started last year.

"Should he be primaried, or should he lose to a Republican in November," said Rise. "He still has two years as lieutenant governor to accomplish what he wants to do, make a name for himself, and determine his political future."

Denn had been considered a possible 20-16 candidate for governor. WBOC asked him about that race.

"I'm planning to serve four years as attorney general," he answered.

State Prosecutor Kathleen Jennings said she also is considering a run for Attorney General.

Lawyers at Gov. Jack Markell's office have been looking into how, or even if, the job of lieutenant governor would be filled should Denn win the job of attorney general. Staff tells WBOC lawyers are reviewing the state's constitution, but they still don't have a definite answer.
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