Not according to a radio ad that I’ve heard on occasion here in Salisbury. Being close by Delaware and with Salisbury being the main media market for the southern end of the state, we do get a lot of spillover from the First State campaigns. (I’m not aware of a companion TV ad; then again I don’t watch the local news channels when many political commercials are aired.) In this case, GOP candidate for Governor Bill Lee questions whether Jack Markell’s business experience that he touts is all that valuable since he ran the ship at what would become the ill-fated Nextel – key among the accusations is that Markell used inside knowledge to dump nearly $2 million in stock. (The site likes to call him “Wall Street Jack”, and given the tanking of the market at-large that might be an effective tactic.)
Obviously the site is a smear site, but it does call into question the costs Delaware taxpayers will shoulder if Markell is elected. (Some of this I went over about a month ago when Delaware held its primary election.) In essence, Markell had two selling points – his terms as State Treasurer and his business experience. It was enough to get him through the primary against the favored candidate of the Democrat establishment (Lieutenant Governor John Carney) but in part this was because Carney didn’t make an issue of Markell’s time in the private sector during the 1990’s.
Still, Bill Lee has an uphill battle in Delaware because, like Maryland, state politics is dictated by a small geographical area with a large population (in their case, New Castle County which is mostly Wilmington and its suburbs.) And while Lee has solidly conservative credentials on the issues, he’s running in a state where Democrats have the advantage in both numbers and money.
(Once in awhile we on the Eastern Shore think out loud about what politics would be like in a greater Delaware that includes our part of Maryland. Maybe we’d be the red state of the region because Wilmington would finally be outvoted.)
Unlike some Republicans higher up the ticket, though, it’s good to know that Bill Lee and his Delaware cohorts are bringing up relevant character issues in the race. While I call it a “smear” website, there is legitimacy in questioning the selling point of your opponent. (Here on the Shore, Andy Harris similarly questions the “independence” of his Democrat opponent knowing that nearly $2 million has come from Democrats inside the Beltway. This is a similar tactic.)
So, my friends in Delaware, I haven’t forgotten you. I’m hoping that the more middle-of-the-road types won’t fall for Jack Markell’s pie-in-the-sky promises and decide to elect someone with a more conservative approach given these times we’re in.
Crossposted on monoblogue.