Cape Gazette

Briggs King, Robinson race to the finish in 37th District election

By Kevin Spence | Sep 11, 2009
Republican Ruth Briggs King and Democrat Rob Robinson are on the ballot for a special election Saturday, Sept. 12, for the 37th District House seat.
37th District polling places
Voters must bring identification.

Harbeson Church Hall, 18636 Harbeson Road

Ninth Grade Campus, 820 Savannah Road
Shields Elementary School, 910 Shield Ave.

Zoar Church Hall, 24463 Gravel Hill Road

Georgetown Elementary School, 301-A W. Market St.
N. Georgetown Elementary School, 664 N. Bedford St. Ext.
Georgetown Middle School, 301-A W. Market St.
DelDOT Transportation building, 23697 Dupont Highway

The seat became vacant after former Republican Rep. Joe Booth was elected to the 19th Senatorial District seat last month, filling the seat of the late Senate President Pro Tempore Thurman Adams.

_ Ruth Briggs King
Briggs King, 53, has a master’s degree in human resources management and is the executive vice president of the Sussex County Association of Realtors. She is also a lobbyist, but not an official lobbyist for the association, she said. Briggs King said a lack of jobs plagues Sussex County, and local government should control land-use decisions – not the state. She said Georgetown voters do not support a new gambling venue for Sussex County, and she said she is undecided if she supports the proposed Del Pointe Resort & Racino in Millsboro. She also said a vote for Robinson would allow Democrats to hold a supermajority in the House. Briggs Kings said she would shrink government too, as a way to save the state money.

According to an eight-day campaign finance report, Briggs King received nearly $25,000 from supporters and made a $30,000 loan to herself. She spent about $40,000 campaigning. The National Rifle Association has endorsed Briggs King.

_ Rob Robinson
Robinson, 37, has a juris doctorate degree from Washington Lee University School of Law and a master’s degree in philosophy from Boston College. He is an assistant public defender and chairman of the Georgetown Planning Commission and also a member of the Delaware Preservation Fund. Robinson said his eight years serving as a planner make him the ideal candidate to work with local and state representatives concerning Cape Region growth. He said Sussex County residents are concerned about jobs, manufactured home rights and overdevelopment. He does not support table games, but he does support the proposed Del Pointe project as a way to bring more jobs to Sussex County. The Sierra Club has endorsed Robinson. Robinson said even if he wins the House seat, creating a supermajority, he pledges not to raise taxes. He also said he would not vote party lines. Robinson also supports preserving open space by promoting farming. According to an eight-day campaign finance report, Robinson received $30,000 in donations and has spent $15,000 campaigning.

Voter breakdown
As of Sept. 2, the deadline to register to vote in the special election, the 37th District had 13,870 registered voters – gaining 81 voters from a month earlier; 43 more Democrats; 13 more Republican voters and 25 more Independent Party or unaffiliated voters. Currently, 5,526 voters are Democrat; 5,293 are Republican and 3,051 registered Independent Party or unaffiliated.

epublican voters outweigh Democrats around downtown Georgetown and in unincorporated Lewes. Democrats have a heavier presence in Lewes and north Georgetown. Kenneth McDowell, administrative director at the Sussex County Department of Elections, said 211 absentee ballots have been processed. “I haven’t seen much of a surge here. It’s been a normal month for us,” he said. McDowell said the absentee ballots return is not particularly high.

The deadline to return absentee ballots is by noon, Friday, Sept. 11. There are eight election districts in the 37th Representative District, which stretches east along Route 9 from Georgetown to Lewes. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Voters must bring identification. For more information, call the Sussex County Department of Elections, 302-856-5637.

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