Delaware's Candidates for Governor, U.S. House Meet on Debate St - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Delaware's Candidates for Governor, U.S. House Meet on Debate Stage

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NEWARK, Del. -- Delaware's candidates for governor and U.S. House squared off Wednesday night in a pair of debates at the University of Delaware as they made their pitches to voters with less than three weeks before the general election.

Congressman John Carney (D) and State Sen. Colin Bonini (R-Dover South) discussed topics including the state budget, public safety, and education.

Carney, a former lieutenant governor who ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2008, argued he's the candidate with the experience needed to spur economic development and stabilize areas of the state that are affected by crime.

"Our state needs someone with the vision and courage to lead our state in a very uncertain future," he said.

Bonini, who has long represented a portion of Kent County and failed in a bid for state treasurer in 2010, argued voters should support him because he offers an opportunity to overturn Democratic leadership that has led, in some cases, to decline in the state and burdensome bureaucracy.

"I think Delaware is facing extraordinary challenges and my contention is that simply doing more of the same, voting the same, you're going to get more of the same," he said.

The debate marked an occasion when both candidates highlighted their differences on issues like the death penalty and legalization of marijuana.

Carney said he would "probably" veto a death penalty reinstatement bill, while Bonini has said he supports capital punishment as a deterrent and punishment for the worst crimes.

Meantime, Bonini said he would support legalization of marijuana since he believes decriminalization of a small amount of marijuana has effectively made it legal in Delaware. Carney has said he wants to see the progress of decriminalization before he takes a stance on legalization.

Following the gubernatorial debate, the Democratic candidates for Delaware's sole seat in the U.S. House took the stage.

Former Delaware Labor Secretary Lisa Blunt Rochester, a Democrat, and former Wyoming Mayor Hans Reigle discussed their views on a variety of topics, including economic inequality.

Blunt Rochester said the issue was complicated and could addressed through investment in building infrastructure and education.

"It is really tied to so many things, even systematic racism that we haven't been talking about as an issue to the forefront," she said.

Reigle, an Air Force Veteran, said government involvement hampers growth from businesses that could potentially hire more workers on livable wages.

"A lot of businesses and a lot of jobs are hurt by regulation," he said.

The general election for both offices is scheduled for Nov. 8.

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