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>>

  • Teen Hospitalized After Falling At an Ocean City Hotel

    Teen Hospitalized After Falling At an Ocean City Hotel

    Thursday, May 25 2017 9:48 PM EDT2017-05-26 01:48:06 GMT
    Friday, May 26 2017 12:24 AM EDT2017-05-26 04:24:24 GMT
    Econo Lodge on 145th Street in Ocean CityEcono Lodge on 145th Street in Ocean City

    Ocean City Police say a 17-year-old boy was hospitalized after falling from an unknown height at a hotel in Ocean City Thursday afternoon. 

    More

    Ocean City Police say a 17-year-old boy was hospitalized after falling from an unknown height at a hotel in Ocean City Thursday afternoon. 

    More
  • Traffic Stop Leads to Drug Arrest

    Traffic Stop Leads to Drug Arrest

    Thursday, May 25 2017 7:56 PM EDT2017-05-25 23:56:24 GMT
    Friday, May 26 2017 12:24 AM EDT2017-05-26 04:24:04 GMT
    Maurice Pinder was arrested for the posession of drugs and weapons.Maurice Pinder was arrested for the posession of drugs and weapons.

    A Federalsburg man is being held without bond after a traffic stop lead to the discovery of drugs and weapons.

    More

    A Federalsburg man is being held without bond after a traffic stop lead to the discovery of drugs and weapons.

    More
  • Non-Profits Coalition Creating Pilot Program for those Fighting Addiction

    Non-Profits Coalition Creating Pilot Program for those Fighting Addiction

    Thursday, May 25 2017 6:54 PM EDT2017-05-25 22:54:03 GMT
    Friday, May 26 2017 12:23 AM EDT2017-05-26 04:23:50 GMT

    The organization B.R.I.D.G.E.S.--Bridging Recovery in Delaware - Gathering Essential Supports--is starting a "Community Navigators" program to help people get involved in the fight against addiction.

    More

    The organization B.R.I.D.G.E.S.--Bridging Recovery in Delaware - Gathering Essential Supports--is starting a "Community Navigators" program to help people get involved in the fight against addiction.

    More
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Teen Hospitalized After Falling At an Ocean City Hotel

    Teen Hospitalized After Falling At an Ocean City Hotel

    Thursday, May 25 2017 9:48 PM EDT2017-05-26 01:48:06 GMT
    Friday, May 26 2017 12:24 AM EDT2017-05-26 04:24:24 GMT
    Econo Lodge on 145th Street in Ocean CityEcono Lodge on 145th Street in Ocean City

    Ocean City Police say a 17-year-old boy was hospitalized after falling from an unknown height at a hotel in Ocean City Thursday afternoon. 

    More

    Ocean City Police say a 17-year-old boy was hospitalized after falling from an unknown height at a hotel in Ocean City Thursday afternoon. 

    More
  • Cruisin' Leaves its Mark on Ocean City

    Cruisin' Leaves its Mark on Ocean City

    Wednesday, May 24 2017 6:38 PM EDT2017-05-24 22:38:22 GMT
    Thursday, May 25 2017 7:41 AM EDT2017-05-25 11:41:49 GMT

     Cruisin' leaves it's mark on Ocean City. 

    More

    Last weekend's Cruisin' Ocean City event left its mark, in more ways than one. 

    More
  • Traffic Stop Leads to Drug Arrest

    Traffic Stop Leads to Drug Arrest

    Thursday, May 25 2017 7:56 PM EDT2017-05-25 23:56:24 GMT
    Friday, May 26 2017 12:24 AM EDT2017-05-26 04:24:04 GMT
    Maurice Pinder was arrested for the posession of drugs and weapons.Maurice Pinder was arrested for the posession of drugs and weapons.

    A Federalsburg man is being held without bond after a traffic stop lead to the discovery of drugs and weapons.

    More

    A Federalsburg man is being held without bond after a traffic stop lead to the discovery of drugs and weapons.

    More
  • Most Popular VideosMost Popular VideosMore>>

  • 'Ghost Pots' Hurting Chesapeake Bay's Blue Crab Population

    'Ghost Pots' Hurting Chesapeake Bay's Blue Crab Population

    Crabbing season is well underway, and that means hundreds of thousands of crab pots are in the Chesapeake Bay catching blue crabs.

    Every morning during crabbing season, you can see watermen gathering up their pots, collecting their catch, and putting the pots back in the water. What you cannot see is the problem: pots that have had their lines severed sit on the bay's bottom, sometimes never seen again, along with the crabs inside them.

    More

    Crabbing season is well underway, and that means hundreds of thousands of crab pots are in the Chesapeake Bay catching blue crabs.

    Every morning during crabbing season, you can see watermen gathering up their pots, collecting their catch, and putting the pots back in the water. What you cannot see is the problem: pots that have had their lines severed sit on the bay's bottom, sometimes never seen again, along with the crabs inside them.

    More
  • Dover Shootings Cause Heightened Concern Over Safety

    Dover Shootings Cause Heightened Concern Over Safety

    Yellow tape on Wednesday marked the crime scene outside a home in Capital Green where police said two people were shot in broad daylight while filming a rap video.

    More

    Yellow tape on Wednesday marked the crime scene outside a home in Capital Green where police said two people were shot in broad daylight while filming a rap video.

    More
  • Locals React to Cruisin' Ocean City

    Locals React to Cruisin' Ocean City

    Thousands of cars rumbled into Ocean City for Cruisin' OC but not everyone was thrilled about it.

    For 27 years unique cars have traveled from hundreds of miles away to drive up and down the streets of Ocean City.

    While this event might be a big attraction for people who aren't from Delmarva, not everyone gets revved up for the weekend.Locals said that over the past few years the noise and the smell has gotten to be a little too much.

    More

    Thousands of cars rumbled into Ocean City for Cruisin' OC but not everyone was thrilled about it.

    For 27 years unique cars have traveled from hundreds of miles away to drive up and down the streets of Ocean City.

    While this event might be a big attraction for people who aren't from Delmarva, not everyone gets revved up for the weekend.Locals said that over the past few years the noise and the smell has gotten to be a little too much.

    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