Announcement in Del. AG Race Shines Light on Gap in State Consti - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Announcement in Del. AG Race Shines Light on Gap in State Constitution

Posted:
DOVER, Del. (WBOC) - This week Delaware Lt. Gov. Matt Denn announced he's running for state attorney general. That announcement came after current AG Beau Biden chose not to run for a third term.

Denn's decision to run for attorney general shined a light on an odd gap in the Delaware Constitution.

Government officials leave their jobs all the time for one reason or another. And the state constitution provides a method for getting replacements for every job but one - lieutenant governor.

If Matt Denn became attorney general, the lieutenant governor's position would be vacant for two years. The only currently constitutional way to fill that vacancy is to wait for the 2016 general election.

Sussex County Clerk of the Peace and state constitution expert John Brady explains the importance of the lieutenant governor.

"In Delaware we elect independently a lieutenant governor, so if the government were to leave office before the end of his term, you'd have an elected official assuming that role as governor," he said.

That's happened three times in Delaware since 1960.

A constitutional amendment would be necessary to create a way to replace the lieutenant governor. Brady say that amendment would likely do one of three things. The first is let the governor appoint a replacement. The second is do that but have the state Senate confirm the choice. And third the state could have a special election.

Lawmakers all mulling their options. Senate Minority Leader Sen. Gary Simpson, R-Milford, likes option three.

"What I would favor - and I think the governor and anyone in the legislature should favor - is letting an election go to the people, not depending on the governor for an appointment and the Senate to approve that appointment," he said.

"I'm not really in favor of a special election. Special elections are very expensive," said Speaker of the House Rep. Pete Schwartzkopf, D-Rehoboth. "A statewide special election could cost one million bucks or so."

Rep. Schwartkopf says he'll be discussing this issue with Senate leadership.

Without a lieutenant governor, next in line to the governor's office is secretary of state. That job is job currently held by Jeff Bullock.
Rep. Schwartzkopf adds if lawmakers do decide to move through an amendment, it won't be specifically because Matt Denn might leave the job. It will be because in general there's a gap in the state constitution.

Also, Friday Delaware's chief prosecutor announced she will not be running for attorney general.

Kathy Jennings is a Democrat, like Denn. Her announcement makes Denn the party's presumptive nominee.

No Republicans have yet announced their intention to run for AG in Delaware.
  • Delmarvawide NewsDelmarvawide NewsMore>>

  • People of Cambridge Move on From Segregated Past

    People of Cambridge Move on From Segregated Past

    07/24/2017 16:05:00 -04:002017-07-24 20:05:00 GMT
    Monday, July 24 2017 4:13 PM EDT2017-07-24 20:13:11 GMT
    Fifty years ago, civil unrest in Cambridge reached a boiling point. Now fifty years later, people say they are ready to reflect on those times and to move forward.More
    Fifty years ago, civil unrest in Cambridge reached a boiling point. Now fifty years later, people say they are ready to reflect on those times and to move forward.More
  • Assateague Horse Died After Eating Dog Food

    Assateague Horse Died After Eating Dog Food

    07/24/2017 15:45:00 -04:002017-07-24 19:45:00 GMT
    Monday, July 24 2017 3:57 PM EDT2017-07-24 19:57:23 GMT
    A photo of the mare that died after eating dog food at Assateague Island National Seashore. (Photo credit: L. Davis/Assateague Island National Seashore)A photo of the mare that died after eating dog food at Assateague Island National Seashore. (Photo credit: L. Davis/Assateague Island National Seashore)
    Officials say a wild horse was found dead after eating a large amount of dog food at Assateague Island National Seashore.More
    Officials say a wild horse was found dead after eating a large amount of dog food at Assateague Island National Seashore.More
  • Queen Anne's County Fire Causes Over $200,000 in Damages

    Queen Anne's County Fire Causes Over $200,000 in Damages

    07/24/2017 15:53:00 -04:002017-07-24 19:53:00 GMT
    Monday, July 24 2017 3:53 PM EDT2017-07-24 19:53:59 GMT
    courtesy of Maryland State Fire Marshal's Officecourtesy of Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office
    A fire in Queen Anne's County took 26 firefighters and nearly two hours to put out on Sunday morning, according to the Maryland State Fire Marshal.More
    A fire in Queen Anne's County took 26 firefighters and nearly two hours to put out on Sunday morning, according to the Maryland State Fire Marshal.More
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Updated: Queen Anne's County Tornado Confirmed

    Damage, Power Outages Reported After Maryland Severe Weather

    07/24/2017 07:59:00 -04:002017-07-24 11:59:00 GMT
    Monday, July 24 2017 3:29 PM EDT2017-07-24 19:29:58 GMT
    A large tree fell on this house in Stevensville, Md. during an overnight severe storm that passed through the area. (Photo:  Frank Tedesco/ Atlantic City Electric)A large tree fell on this house in Stevensville, Md. during an overnight severe storm that passed through the area. (Photo: Frank Tedesco/ Atlantic City Electric)
    A National Weather Service team has confirmed an EF2 tornado touched down in Queen Anne's County on Maryland's Eastern Shore. The tornado downed trees, damaged homes, and knocked out power out for thousands.More
    A National Weather Service team has confirmed an EF2 tornado touched down in Queen Anne's County on Maryland's Eastern Shore. The overnight weather event downed trees, damaged homes, and knocked out power out for thousands.More
  • ATV Driver Hit By Crop Duster in Berlin

    ATV Driver Hit By Crop Duster in Berlin

    Monday, July 24 2017 7:49 AM EDT2017-07-24 11:49:02 GMT
    Monday, July 24 2017 7:49 AM EDT2017-07-24 11:49:02 GMT
    (Photo:MGN)(Photo:MGN)
    An ATV driver suffered minor injuries after a crop duster pilot attempted to land at an airfield in Worcester County Sunday morning, Maryland State Police said.More
    An ATV driver suffered minor injuries after a crop duster pilot attempted to land at an airfield in Worcester County Sunday morning, Maryland State Police said.More
  • Man Charged in Deadly Dover Crash

    Deadly Dover Crash

    Monday, July 24 2017 7:49 AM EDT2017-07-24 11:49:14 GMT
    Monday, July 24 2017 7:49 AM EDT2017-07-24 11:49:14 GMT
    The crash happened on McKee Road near Seskinore Court in Dover.The crash happened on McKee Road near Seskinore Court in Dover.
    A 23-year-old Dover man has been charged with vehicular homicide following the death of 62-year-old Derik Percorini of Dover, police said.More
    A 23-year-old Dover man has been charged with vehicular homicide following the death of 62-year-old Derik Percorini of Dover, police said.More
  • Most Popular VideosMost Popular VideosMore>>

  • Damage, Power Outages Reported in Queen Anne's Co. After Severe Weather

    Damage, Power Outages Reported in Queen Anne's Co. After Severe Weather

    A National Weather Service team is headed to Maryland's Eastern Shore to determine whether a tornado touched down there.

    The weather service says the team is headed to Queen Anne's County on Monday to assess damage from the early morning storm that downed trees, collapsed buildings and knocked out power to thousands overnight in the Stevensville area of Kent Island. County officials say one person was injured but those injuries were not life-threatening.

    More

    A National Weather Service team is headed to Maryland's Eastern Shore to determine whether a tornado touched down there.

    The weather service says the team is headed to Queen Anne's County on Monday to assess damage from the early morning storm that downed trees, collapsed buildings and knocked out power to thousands overnight in the Stevensville area of Kent Island. County officials say one person was injured but those injuries were not life-threatening.

    More
  • WBOC Morning Weather for Monday, July 24, 2017

    WBOC Morning Weather for Monday, July 24, 2017

  • Sussex Man Convicted of Murder Granted Parole, Victim's Mother Speaks

    Sussex Man Convicted of Murder Granted Parole, Victim's Mother Speaks

    A Sussex County man convicted of murder 30 years ago has been granted parole.

    Back in 1987, deer hunters found the body of 18-year-old Douglas Brockway Jr. in a wooded area outside of Lewes. Ransford Bryan III was later charged in the murder and convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.

    More

    A Sussex County man convicted of murder 30 years ago has been granted parole.

    Back in 1987, deer hunters found the body of 18-year-old Douglas Brockway Jr. in a wooded area outside of Lewes. Ransford Bryan III was later charged in the murder and convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.

    More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices