By Tyler Micik
JOHN F. KENNEDY ONCE SAID, “Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer.” At the time of writing this article, six weeks remain before the General Election. While we may not be able to accurately predict the outcomes on November 8, the primary election results continued a movement towards Democrats nominating more progressive candidates.
Of note, progressive Representatives Eric Morrison and Madinah Wilson-Anton defeated their opponents. In four open seats, a more progressive Democrat won against a more moderate challenger. Kyra Hoffner (SD 14), Sophie Phillips (RD 18), Cyndie Romer (RD 25), and Kerri Evelyn Harris (RD 32) all won their races. Moderate Democrats won too. Representatives Debra Heffernan, Nnamdi Chukwuocha, and Stephanie Bolden successfully defended their seats. Lastly, DeShanna Neal beat House Majority Whip Larry Mitchell by 44 votes. The big question now is what does this mean for businesses and their employees?
In January, we expect to see at least eight new legislators in the General Assembly and possibly more after the General Election. Add to that possible changes in leadership and committee assignments and that means significant changes in policy choices impacting Delawareans. New legislators bring fresh perspectives and a sense of eagerness, but many have limited business experience and institutional knowledge of Legislative Hall. Expect for many of these new legislators to promote issues such as police reform, organized labor’s agenda, environmental justice, and paid time off.
Although well-intended, these policy proposals could have negative impacts on Delaware’s economy and harm the very people they’re intended to help. Now more than ever it’s vital for business leaders to develop relationships with new and incumbent legislators. Meet with them, give them a tour of your facility, and show them first-hand the impacts their policy choices will have on employees and customers. Similarly, we hope more legislators will engage in conversations and be open to incorporating feedback from all stakeholders in their policy proposals. After all, that’s the “Delaware Way”; I like to quote Bob Byrd who once said the “Delaware Way” is the idea that as a state, we can get all the right decision makers in one room to have a conversation and reach an agreement.
Whatever the outcome of the November elections, the General Assembly will be different, and the State Chamber will continue to advocate not for the “Republican or Democratic answer”, but the Delaware answer—the one that positions Delaware employers, their employees, and all Delawareans for success. New
legislators and business leaders can learn a lot from one another, and we will do our part to help bridge both sides so we understand each other’s point of view and create a shared vision for Delaware’s future.
To learn more about the election results and implications or to hear about the State Chamber’s policy priorities for 2023, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.