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Delaware State House District 15

The Delaware House of Representatives consists of 41 members, each of whom is elected to a two-year term. There is no limit to the number of terms that a Representative may serve. All revenue generating legislation must begin in the House.State representatives introduce and vote on proposed legislation, approve the annual budget for the state, and serve on assigned committees. The General Assembly of Delaware meets in Dover three days a week between mid-January and the end of June.The Speaker of the House is the presiding officer of the House. The Speaker is elected to the position by a majority of the representatives to run the mechanics of the House, including appointing committees and their members and assigning legislation to committee.

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  • Candidate picture

    Michael Higgin
    (Rep)

  • Candidate picture

    Valerie Longhurst **
    (Dem)

  • Amy Merlino
    (L)

Biographical Information

What motivated you to seek or continue in this office?

This year Delawareans can vote by mail due to COVID-19. Would you support continuing the vote by mail option for future Delaware elections? If yes, what modifications would you make to the current mail-in voting process?

Following the 2020 census, election district boundaries will be redrawn across the country. Do you think Delaware would benefit from having an independent redistricting commission? Please explain your position.

If elected, what measures will you develop and/or support to increase community confidence in law enforcement personnel?

How do you believe that racial inequality can be reduced/eliminated in Delaware?

What is your stance on renewable energy for Delaware, and specifically the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS)?

Is Delaware's Freedom of Information Act working well for the public? What changes (if any) would you suggest for FOIA?

Last edit date: submitted 10/6/2020
Website or social media link: http://VoteMichaelHiggin.com
Ballotpedia Page (external resource) http://ballotpedia.org/Michael_Higgin
To be better able to advocate for individuals with physical/cognitive disabilities, educational professionals, small business owners and those who seek to pursue higher education without the risk of crippling student debt.
I would support voting by mail, but I think the best way to make sure your vote is counted is to vote in person.
Delaware would benefit from an independent commissions as it would help to avoid partisan conflicts or favoritism in district plans.
To increase confidence in law enforcement personnel I would: 1. Support Police training and education reform 2. Develop a community review board consisting of members from the community as well as professionals like retired police officers, lawyers, psychologist and professors.
Racial inequality can be reduced/eliminated by improving awareness and understanding among the diversity of races, cultures and ethnicities.
I support the RPS as it's main goals are to reduce pollution and the cost of energy to Delawareans.
I think the FOIA should be revisited to allow an easier and more accessible process for the public to access information deemed public.
Last edit date: submitted 10/7/2020
Phone: (302) 744-4351
Website or social media link: http://valerielonghurst.com
Age 56
Education West Chester University
Work Experience Val Longhurst was first elected to the Delaware House of Representatives in November 2004 to represent the 15th District. In 2008, she was elected as the House Majority Whip and served for four years. After the 2012 election, her caucus elected her House Majority Leader. Valerie spent her early adult years working in the insurance industry. She formerly worked for AIG Insurance in Chadds Ford, Pa. During her tenure, she advanced her career from corporate trainer to quality assurance manager and ultimately to director of operations.
Community Involvement - Bear-Glasgow Family YMCA Board member - Police Action League Board member - Delaware Sports Commission Advisory Council member - Prior to becoming a Legislator, she volunteered for local organizations, including - Community Advisory Panel member for Delaware City Refinery - Delaware support group leader for National Alopecia Areata Foundation -Softball commissioner and coach for Bear Babe Ruth Little League - Vice President of Emerald Ridge Maintenance Corporation.
Ballotpedia Page (external resource) http://ballotpedia.org/Valerie_Longhurst
I first ran for this office in 2002 because I wanted to get my State Representative involved in a community initiative I was working on. He never returned my phone call.

I am continuing to run for this seat because I know how it feels to be on the other side of the line and have your State Representative ignore you and not take you seriously. I receive phone calls every week from constituents with interesting and innovative new policy ideas.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic I was not able to pass a number of important bills brought forth to me by constituents, many of which will have a huge impact across our state. There are important unfinished initiatives from 2020, whether it be clean water for everyone, increasing mental health support resources, or leveling the playing field for women and young girls.
As the prime sponsor of HB 346 which brought the mail in voting option to Delaware this year I fully support continuing voting by mail in future years. I supported Rep. Brady’s HB 175 that would have created mail in voting in Delaware beyond just this election.

I believe that to move Delaware forward we need to change our laws regarding when ballots need to arrive. If a voter puts their ballot in the mail on election day it should still be counted as long as it is postmarked on election day. Additionally I believe that we will need to expand the number of ballot drop off boxes available statewide to make it easier for voters to simply drop off their ballots instead of using the mail.
In 2011 House Democrats ran our first redistrict effort. It was open, transparent and fair. There were public hearings and numerous opportunities for the public to be involved. We accepted hundreds of public comments about the proposed lines and took each one into consideration before making any decisions.

I look forward to putting together a transparent and open process for redistricting in 2021.
In the closing days of the 150th General Assembly, I supported my colleagues efforts to form the Law Enforcement Accountability task force. I am excited to see what initiatives, suggestions, and legislation comes out of the task force’s report and cannot wait to read their full report. I will support the initiatives that are brought forth by the task force chair Rep. Cooke towards improving the community’s confidence in our law enforcement officers.
I had the honor to support adding an equal rights amendment to Delaware's constitution on the basis of race, creed, and national origin this past session. With passage again in 2021 it will be forever enshrined in Delaware’s constitution not just putting forth our desire for a more equal Delaware but putting in place a legal protection for every citizen.

This will not end racial inequality by itself. That is why I supported the creation of the African American Task Force. The report from this task force I hope will contain a variety of legislative solutions that we can support to begin tackling racial inequality throughout the state.
We must do what we can to support renewable energy initiatives. Delaware will be impacted by climate change due to our proximity to the ocean and low level of elevation. RPS is and should be a large part of our efforts to reduce the effects of climate change.
I believe every citizen should have access to their government. During the emergency orders Governor Carney originally put forth, FOIA requests were severely limited and many agencies began to abuse these limitations making it impossible for citizens to access their public officials. That is why we worked with Governor Carney to update the emergency order and restore FOIA to the standard it was before the pandemic.
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