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Delaware State Senate District 05

The Delaware Senate is composed of 21 members, each of whom is elected to a four-year term, except when reapportionment occurs at which time Senators may be elected to a two-year term. There is no limit to the number of terms that a Senator may serve.State senators 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 Lieutenant Governor serves as the President of the Senate, but only casts a vote if required to break a tie. The President Pro Tempore is a senator elected to the position by a majority of the members to run the mechanics of the Senate, including appointing committees and their members and assigning legislation to committee.

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  • Candidate picture

    Catherine A Cloutier
    (Rep)

  • Candidate picture

    Kyle Evans Gay **
    (Dem)

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 10/1/2020
Phone: (302) 744-4197
Campaign email: cathy@cathycloutier.com
Website or social media link: http://cathycloutier.com
Age 70
Education Studied at Worcester Junior College (Did not graduate)
Work Experience State Senator State Representative Regional Manager, Atlantic Region, K+M
Community Involvement Proudly represented the citizens of the Brandywine Hundred in the Senate and House of Representatives since 1998. I volunteer for the Candlelight Theatre and have supported the Senior Olympics. I have also "Adopted a Road" for many years.
Ballotpedia Page (external resource) http://ballotpedia.org/Catherine_Cloutier
My late husband, Phil, was dedicated to public service. I was there by his side as he worked every day to improve the lives of Delawareans. Serving his peers was his mission until his dying breath - when he asked me to run for his seat and continue his work. That's what I've done since I first ran for office, and everyday, it is Phil's wish that inspires me to continue, but I've learned a lot since then. I've learned the issues facing the folks in my district and across the state. We've done a lot to improve the lives of Delawareans, but I know that there's a lot more to be done, and I find myself in a unique position to continue in that fight.
I support any effort to increase voter turnout. In order to comprehensively understand the issues facing folks in our state, we have to have a more complete representation of this state's electorate. I believe we need to make it easier to vote, not harder. In that light, I support a continuation of the mail-in voting system, and I think that this election has given us a great opportunity to learn its advantages and disadvantages.
It is important that our electoral districts accurately represent the constituents within those districts and in the states at large. An independent commision should be tasked with this responsibility to avoid the sort of partisan gerrymandering that has plagued our electoral system for so long. This is especially a problem because gerrymandering has disproportionately affected black and brown Americans who have had their voice stolen from them, in many cases. The establishment of an independent redistricting commission is simply common sense.
First, the police in our communities ought to look more like the people in our communities, and beyond that we have to support additional training for our police so that they know how to appropriately respond to issues when they come up. At the end of the day, though, trust in law enforcement will, in many cases, have to be earned back. I know most police officers are professional, but we've got to understand that there's a problem of systemic racism in this society, and that has manifested itself in terrible ways. To fix it, we need legislation, but beyond that, we need to change the hearts and minds of a lot of people. That's going to require us to have difficult conversations and learn to listen to people with experiences different from our own.
We must begin by creating a justice system that is just for all Delawareans. We need to ensure that police are trained to recognize and avoid implict biases, and in the courtroom we must ensure that certain groups of our population are not disproportionately punished. We also need to end the war on drugs that has led to disproportionate incarceration rates within minority communities, a factor which affects families for generations. Beyond that, we need to recognize that racial inequality also exists in the hearts and minds of many people, and we ought to listen to the feelings and needs and concerns of those who share different experiences than our own. Only then can we truly understand the problem we so badly need to address.
As the state with the lowest mean elevation above sea level of any state in the nation, Delaware will suffer the most severe effects of climate change sooner than most. While Delaware is a relatively minor contributor to the problem of climate destruction, we owe it to future generations to demonstrate that we are committed to the preservation of a clean and habitable world. In this light, it is essential that Delaware move forward quickly with investment in renewable energy sources. Our current methods of powering this state are not sustainable and it is our children, and their children, who will pay the ultimate price. Sustainable energy also needs to be viewed as an opportunity! We have a chance to create thousands of jobs, to lower utility costs, and to work toward a cleaner Delaware. The time to do this has passed - we're now in overtime. We've got to take action immediately.
Delaware has some of the most restrictive Freedom of Information Act laws in the country. Currently, police officers' disciplinary records are exempt from FOIA. We need to make Delaware's FOIA more transparent and expedite the process.
Last edit date: published 8/3/2020
Phone: (302) 428-9614
Campaign email: kyle@kylefordelaware.com
Website or social media link: http://kylefordelaware.com
Age 34
Education Brown University (A.B.) Boston University School of Law (J.D.)
Work Experience Connolly Gallagher LLP; Morris James LLP; Delaware Superior Court; Delaware Department of Justice.
Community Involvement Delaware ERANow; Delaware Fund for Women; Delaware Bar Foundation; Delaware State Bar Association (Past Chair, Women and the Law Section and Young Lawyers Section); Child’s Attorney, Office of the Child Advocate; Delaware Supreme Court Commission on Law and Technology; Junior League of Wilmington, DE (Past President); Spur Impact Association (Past President); State of Delaware Public Integrity Commission (past); Delaware Board of Bar Examiners (past).
Ballotpedia Page (external resource) http://ballotpedia.org/Kyle_Evans_Gay
As a mom, attorney, and community advocate, I understand that we have opportunities in Delaware to make lasting change. I decided to run for state Senate because I am passionate about supporting our kids and families, ensuring our seniors are lifted up, and fighting for equality and prosperity for all Delawareans. In my career and community service work, I am the most fulfilled when fighting for these community-focused causes, and I have chosen to seek office to affect change on a larger scale through transformative public policy. I hope to start a conversation about our shared vision for our state and the policies that will help us get there; all in all, I want to serve as a senator to amplify the voices in my District and to fight for our shared values. Our community deserves a real choice this election.
I am a strong proponent of vote-by-mail now and in the future, and advocated for it publicly through my campaign and a June 2020 op-ed in the News Journal (https://kylefordelaware.com/blog/voting-by-mail-presents-a-safe-path-forward-to-novembers-election). Vote-by-mail makes participating in the democratic process more accessible. Groups that are typically known to vote in lower numbers- young people, individuals with disabilities, those who are economically disadvantaged or whose work or childcare schedule won’t permit them to vote in person, and those without access to transportation- can benefit from easier access to exercising their constitutional rights at election time. I believe there are many avenues to election reform, including making election day a holiday, same-day voter registration, and continuing vote-by-mail to broaden the electorate and ensure that all residents are able to exercise their constitutional right to vote.
Delaware would benefit from having an independent redistricting commission. I believe that the creation of an independent redistricting committee is critical to ensure that no political party is unjustly favored, no incumbent has a disproportionate advantage, and the voices of all Delawareans are heard.
I am inspired by the recent momentum of the racial justice movement, and my work as a prosecutor and an attorney has shown me that reform is both necessary and possible. My father, who was a police officer, taught me the importance of public safety officers in promoting justice, and inspired me to pursue a career in law. Unfortunately, communities across our country have lost faith and trust in law enforcement. Above all we must work together to promote community confidence and to ensure the safety of all people. Law enforcement officers must be accountable for their actions. To start, I support the reforms outlined in the Justice for All Agenda which include but aren’t limited to banning knee holds and choke holds where deadly force is not warranted. These reforms and others are necessary measures to protect Delawareans and create accountability and transparency, improving community relations and building public trust.
Substantial reforms geared towards advancing racial equity are long overdue, and can be achieved in part through legislative efforts, which I will push forward as state Senator. I am passionate about combating systemic racial injustice through criminal justice reform and by expanding education, health, business, and economic opportunities for BIPOC to address the social determinants that lead to inequities in outcomes. By creating pathways out of poverty we can make progress. By increasing the minimum wage to $15, and investing in schools, housing, and healthcare, we can prioritize the reduction of racial inequality in Delaware
The dangers of climate change are an existential threat that we must address. The current Renewable Portfolio Standard has resulted in new, clean sources of energy. I would support expanding our state’s efforts and transitioning Delaware to 100% renewable energy by the year 2050. However, our state will also need concrete planning processes to ensure a smooth, gradual transition. We must ensure that all people in our state benefit from renewable energy, particularly those in neighborhoods who have historically experienced high levels of pollutants and related health disparities. We owe it to ourselves and to the place we call home to prioritize sustainability and ensure that the benefits of investing in clean energy are available for all.
At its core, Delaware's Freedom of Information Act works to promote government transparency; it’s an essential piece of legislation that serves as a key element in monitoring public entities. FOIA promotes public trust in government, its processes, and decisions, as it holds government entities and officials accountable to the individuals they represent. Because transparency is crucial to the democratic process, we must promote access and reduce barriers to information. As Senator, I would also prioritize active transparency so that residents in our Senate district have more information readily available to them outside the FOIA process.