The Delaware State Convention 2016-The details, the confusion, and a bit of admiration

If nothing else you will enjoy the pictures of my weekend at the Delaware State Republican convention in Dewey Beach. OR maybe the one big mess up as endorsement were voted upon. Click in to learn all about it

delcon5.2.16arlettandmeWhy yes I did go to the Delaware State convention in Dewey Beach this past weekend on 4/30/16 and 5/01/16.

Overall, let’s get this out of the way, my attendance at the 2016 Delaware convention was a highlight of my life. Well yeah, I have had a dull life, why do you ask?

This is the year of the political junkee. Which would be me and no, I’m not necessarily proud of it. But hey, it’s what I do and I learn a thing or two, why not read what I have to say?

Indeed I am most ordinary female of senior age level and I got to be an alternate delegate for the Sussex county Devil Dogs, God bless.

That Devil Dog title is my own because while Delaware is a very small state, we are as different upstate and downstate as, say, Castle versus O’Donnell.

Now I only mention this painful memory because I shall touch upon all elephants in the room, including the GOP icon.delcon5.2.16briggskingme

It was the Castle/O’Donnell primary which led up to this year’s convention. A Delaware state convention that seemed cohesive because why?

Because the rest of this country is now as disgusted with the elected self-proclaimed elite as Sussex county was back in 2008.

This convention, amazingly and to my fond impression, was civil though there was a tension, sometimes palpable.

We had two goofballs from another political party show up pretending to be news guys or something and that was funny.

The convention was held in Dewey Beach, a cool place that, though I do not live far from, I never visit. Damn, last year I attended a class in Rehoboth Beach and I’m getting so good at this that I even managed to find a parking place at Hyatt Place. Yeah it was on the actual beach but hey it was right by the door.

It began with the Friday night cocktail party. Yes the politicos were out there and they were mingling.

delcon5.2.16dinnerThe highlight of this night was….well it was certainly not the food, dear Lord. For dinner there was a piece of rubber disguised as chicken and an ice-cream scoop of hard as a rock mashed potatoes. Nice rolls on the side and a satisfactory cheesecake as dessert filled out the dish.

The major, and most riveting, event of the evening was the speaker, Mark “Oz” Geist, co-author of “13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi.” …

His story began and I barely pulled in a breath as he spoke.

What an awful story people, how these brave Americans fought the mobs on the roof of a building, how Geist suffered delcon5.2.16writer13hoursa horribly fractured arm and body riddled with shrapnel. Geist got out but, as is well know, three Americans died on that roof. Ambassador Stevens had been tortured and murdered before the guys from the nearby CIA annex ignored orders to stand down and went to the embassy to rescue those inside.

The next day was when all the political stuff went on. And it was, on s minor level, quite interesting.

delcon5.2.16pettyjohnSenator Brian Pettyjohn, mine own state senator, was the keynote speaker. And he did a wonderful job, he did.

Of course we give a round of applause to Delaware Republican state chair Charlie Copeland, who led the activities both on Friday night and Saturday.

He only made one mistake-but it was big-more on this later.delcon5.2.16copeland

The big news from the convention are the candidates “endorsements”.


Let us discuss.

It used to be that the state delegates at the state convention actually “nominated” a choice for state wide offices. Now the word “nominate” has some different connotations because the state of Delaware votes its state wide primary in September. With the state convention in May, obviously the “nominee” will be the winner of the primary.

NOW the candidate chosen, by what is essentially a glorified straw poll, is called an “endorsement”, which is what it was before but now with a more accurate title..

delcon5.2.16colinboniniFor the Delaware Governor’s race, Colin Bonini got the statewide nod over Lacey Lafferty.

What was so surprising about that vote was that Lacey only pulled in about 50% of the vote in her home Sussex county. One would think she’d have done much better.delcon5.2.16laceylafferty

As it turns out, the winner of this “straw” poll had to get at least 60% of the vote in order to be referred to as “endorsed” by the state party. Bonini met that benchmark, but not everybody did. Hang in there.

delcon5.2.16lamargunnFor Lieutenant Lamar Gunn received the party endorsement, unopposed.

For Delaware sole representative in America’s House, we have Hans Riegle, a delightful fellow who I hope to interview soon.

It was for the endorsement of state insurance commissioner that we ran into problems.

The two candidates were Jeff Cragg and George Parish. Insert notation here that I have a past, and pleasant, relationship with both of these fellows. In fact I already did an interview with George Parish, Sussex County’s former Clerk of Weddings or some such.

Bear in mind here that this position is very critical this year in that with Obamacare so unartfully functioning Delaware’s attention to health insurance becomes critical. Also, I will throw this in there, for while Delaware seems to be stuck in Democrat mode for all things government, the election of Republican Ken Simpler for state Treasurer is indicator that Delawareans are more cautious with those positions requiring brains over politics.

Parish is Sussex county’s happy guy. “The status quo has got to go” is his motto, a perfect motto for this election year.

Jeff Cragg ran for Governor a few years ago and he has now thrown his hat into the ring for Insurance Commissioner.

Cragg has a history in the insurance industry that should have Delawareans flocking to the polls to pull the lever for him.

As it would turn out, the first vote had Parish winning the majority, but NOT the over 60% as required.

So we had another vote.

delcon5.3.16badgeI was an alternate delegate in all this yon readers so I sit and vote and I vote again and I vote again.

The SECOND time it was announced that George Parish received a little over that precious 60% and will thus be the recipient of the state party endorsement for insurance commissioner.

Well I voted for Jeff Cragg, BOTH TIMES, for no other reason, forgive me the lack of drama here, but obviously Cragg was most qualified for the position.

I hired many a person in my lifetime and had I been interviewing Parish and Cragg for the job of insurance commissioner, which is essentially what voters do, I’d have chosen Cragg.

Although I love George Parish with all my heart and soul, it doesn’t get any more dramatic than that.




Somebody, NOT using Common Core arithmetic, re-calculated the math and it would turn out that Parish came right close to the original vote percentage, 53% or so…..NOT that 60% threshold.

This discovery was made later after the vote and there was effort to get out of there before they shut the place down.

So I have no idea who got the endorsement for insurance commissioner, if anyone.

That’s it for now, folks.

Enjoy the pictures and know that for me, it was truly a great experience. The people are hard workers, fine folk, all wanting the best for this state and our country.

I do not respond to comments on my posts. I certainly have no problem with such commentary and, indeed, encourage it. But I’ve written my piece and I don’t want to argue it further.

Please feel free to email me at if you want to send me a special comment or have any ideas or information you want to share.

NEXT : Sussex county council-we analyze the sign thing. More Delaware tidbits about crimes not solved around here.


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