Glen Urquhart was picked in the Sept. 14 Delaware primary to take over for departing Republican Rep. Mike Castle. The popular Republican stepped down to run for what was presumed to be an easy run for Senate, only to lose to Tea Party-favorite Christine O’Donnell. But Urquhart is fairly conservative for this Democrat-leaning state, making the state-wide district a likely pick-up for Democrat and former Lt. Gov. John Carney.
Candidates for Delaware’s At-Large Congressional District (two-year term)
(This district is an at-large district because Delaware has one U.S. House seat; it includes all of Delaware.)
Candidate: John Charles Carney Jr.
Political experience: In the administration of Gov. Tom Carper, Carney has been secretary of finance and deputy chief of staff. He was elected lieutenant governor of Delaware twice. Carney has served on the Delaware Science & Technology Council.
Professional experience: Carney was the executive of Transformative Technologies, a company involved in green technology.
Key issues: Carney is interested in improving education in Delaware. He’d like to see higher standards in math, science and technology as well as increasing federal Pell grants. He is concerned with public safety, too, according to his website. Combining the two, Carney argues that good schools and prevention help reduce crime, as does making sure police have the tools they need to enforce the law.
Endorsements: College Democrats, Planned Parenthood and the AFL-CIO have endorsed Carney.
Chances of winning this seat: Republican Michele Rollins might have been a bit more moderate than Carney’s opponent, and was she better funded. But as things stand, it’s likely Carney will beat Urquhart without too much difficulty. He’s far ahead in the money race — $904,469 to Urquhart’s $194,036 left to spend, according to OpenSecrets.org. Ideologically, Carney is better suited to win, as his opponent is strongly conservative, which would put him out of step with most Delaware voters. Delaware has a Cook Partisan Index rating of D+7, which means it leans heavily to the Democratic Party.
Candidate: Glen Urquhart
Political experience: Urquhart has served on the Board of Directors for NewWay Ministries and the American Defense Foundation. He is a Federal City Council Trustee and a board member of the Pennsylvania Avenue Development Corporation. He served as the Chairman of the National Capital Planning Commission from 1982 to 1994.
Professional experience: He is the President of Urquhart & Company, a firm that “built assets by creating value in real estate,” according to his website.
Key issues: On values, Urquhart is strongly supportive of the right to life and gun rights. He contends on his website that welfare systems and public education, along with national security, are threatened by illegal immigration; he opposes amnesty. He wants potential immigrants to be sponsored by “qualified patriotic groups.”
Endorsements: Urquhart has been endorsed by Mike Huckabee, the Family Research Council PAC and the Coastal Network.
Chances of winning this seat: It’s unlikely Urquhart will win. He could have a decent base in the southern part of the state, but his numbers in Wilmington and the northern part of the state, which is much more populated, is unlikely to side with a strongly conservative candidate. Public Policy Polling’s latest numbers suggest Carney is leading by 11 percentage points, 48 percent to 37 percent; the polling firm leans Democrat, but accurately predicted the Republican primary, giving the numbers some strength.
Key Differences between John Carney and Glen Urquhart
Jobs: Carney would like to help make Delaware stronger and says he is aware of the struggle families are going through. He would lower taxes on small businesses and reduce federal regulations in order to lower the deficit and try to get the economy functioning again. Urquhart would put an end to bailouts, end tax-and-spend policies, and increase competition by removing barriers to free trade.
Health Care: Urquhart would like to repeal the health care bill. He would replace it with encouraging interstate insurance competition and give tax incentives to people who want buy insurance. Carney calls the health care reforms imperfect, but an improvement in that it has extended health insurance to more families. He says he is committed to fixing the health care system and making further reforms.
Environment: Carney would like to reduce carbon emissions by investing in renewable energy technology. He opposes drilling off the Delaware beaches, a stance that will be popular with the coastal communities. Urquhart would like to protect the environment, but not through over-regulation. He’d like Congress to write the laws, not the regulatory agencies. He opposed cap and trade regulations.
Delaware‘s At-Large U.S. Congressional District
2008 results: Castle defeated Karen Hartley-Nagle 61.1 percent to 38 percent.
Demographics: According to the U.S. Census, 68.6 percent of the district is white, 20 percent black, 6.5 percent Hispanic, 2.8 percent Asian and 0.3 percent American Indian and Alaska Native.
The Cook Partisan Index gives the Delaware At-Large District a rating of D+7, awarding an advantage to Democratic candidates in this district.