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Delaware State Senate District 09

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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  • Todd Ruckle

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    John J Walsh **

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: published 10/1/2020
Phone: (302) 893-1601
Campaign email:
Website or social media link:
Age 48
Education B/A in Criminal Justice from the University of Delaware
Work Experience 19 years in Real Estate 12 years in bank fraud investigations
Community Involvement 2 terms Newark City Councilman huge supporter of law enforcement and first responders
Additional Information Eagle Scout
After retiring from Politics, I watch our current freshman senator raise the transfer tax to 4 percent, the highest in the country and remove the senior tax credit injuring our Delaware Seniors and first time homebuyers.  He continued to support the current kindergarten to prison system and offered no value to bring businesses to Delaware.  He produced zero Union jobs or supported any project to bring Union jobs to Delaware. He had zero town halls to communicate with his neighbors and completely lacks the ability to lead. 
We need to verify all votes.  I would suggest voting by absentee ballot for two months right after the primary.  We should have places that easily could be reached locally for those who can not travel or use the service where an official comes to your house to gather your vote.  In the future I could see virtual voting where a poll person can verify who the person is on a zoom call, verify the ID and provide a secure link to vote thus eliminating the potential fraud from mail theft. Would also have a verification page that each person verifying their vote was counted and can be tracked.
We need an independent commission not based on one party picking the lines
With demolishing the old schools and building the new community K-12 campuses for all of us to use, the police will have their own station on each campus.  Police will be required to teach Delaware law to all students and citizens so they know their rights along with the current laws and how to properly interact with law enforcement.  Currently Delaware law is not taught in any school creating highly uneducated citizens.  Without education for the public, the lack of communication and understanding leads to drastically wrong behavior on both the citizen and the officer.  We also need to eliminate choke holds and no knock warrants and the public need to know exactly what individual behaviors lead an officer to feel threatened to use their weapon. 
It starts with the demolition of the current Delaware School system.  The first community K-12 campus will be provided in Wilmington.  The citizens of Wilmington have been completely neglected from opportunity and outstanding education for decades.  When we start building from scratch, we must provide high level job skill training for the adults that were pushed through the current failed system. Each person must have the ability to have a highly desired skill that once obtained, can be used to provide an outstanding income for their family creating a happy environment.
I personally love renewable energy.  Each community campus will be powered by solar power.  We can demolish the old unneeded elementary and secondary schools when the K-12 community campuses are built and build large solar plants since the land is already full sun.
Well it will work if the governor did not take it away in his executive orders. I am sure the Federal courts will resolve.
Last edit date: published 10/1/2020
Phone: (302) 660-6295
Campaign email:
Website or social media link:
Age 58
Education St. Mark's High School, Local Union No. 313 IBEW Joint Apprenticeship and Training School
Work Experience Thirty six year member of Local Union No. 313 IBEW. Currently a Project Manager with a union electrical contractor.
Community Involvement Past President of the Montclare Civic Association, former baseball coach at Midway Little League and St. John the Beloved, forty plus year member of St. John the Beloved Parish, fifty plus years residing in the 9th Senate District
Additional Information Member of the St. Patrick's Society, Board member of the Delaware Prosperity Partnership, Vice President Delaware SPCA
Ballotpedia Page (external resource)
I love my community and I am passionate about helping my neighbors throughout the Ninth District. I have worked hard to represent them in the Legislature and advocate for the causes my constituents and I care about most. I got into public service through my local civic association, and that’s why I work hard to make roads safer, address traffic concerns, resolve drainage problems and keep our local families healthy during this pandemic. In Dover, I also have been a tireless advocate for legislation that creates jobs, rewards a day’s labor with a fair wage, enhances our public schools and protects our most vulnerable residents, including seniors, people with disabilities and our four-legged family members. I have made sure state agencies and nonprofits have not forgotten about our community, either. I have organized several health screenings, food drives, shredding events and community holiday celebrations in our District, as well as brought mobile services here from DelDOT.
Rep. Gerald Brady and I are among the first champions of voting by mail in the Delaware General Assembly. Over a year ago, we introduced legislation to expand voting access for all by allowing voters to cast their ballots by mail. Our proposal went from being simply pro-democracy to being good public health policy as well, due to COVID. We’ve learned some great lessons about how well voting by mail can work, along with some improvements that can be made such as adding drop boxes at more locations. While the current vote-by-mail legislation is set to expire after this year’s elections, I will continue working with Rep. Brady to make voting by mail a permanent option for Delaware voters.
We have a system in place now that encourages public input, produces fair district boundaries that keep communities together and has resulted in very few legal challenges. Rather than changing a system that is not broken, I think our efforts should instead be focused on making sure families in our district have access to good health care, good jobs, and a public education system that serves all our residents.
I think our community understands that police officers have an incredibly difficult job. They also understand that we must always strive to improve, particularly when it comes to making sure our officers have access to the training and mental health they need. They also understand we need to do more to guarantee justice for all of our neighbors and accountability from our police departments. I have supported measures that ban police officers from using chokeholds. I have supported reforms that refocus our criminal justice system on rehabilitation rather than retribution. And I support the work of the newly formed Law Enforcement Accountability Task Force and African American Task Force created through the work of the Delaware Legislative Black Caucus. I look forward to seeing what recommendations they put forward and I will work to make sure we have a system here in Delaware that treats everyone with dignity and respect.
First, we need to recognize that black lives do matter and really commit ourselves to making sure we really do all have equal opportunities in the state. We need to work on creating better policies that end racial inequalities in education, health care, housing affordability, and access to both job opportunities and financial independence. And we need to be willing to have the kind of frank and honest conversations that our nation has been avoiding for far too long.
There is no question that our future depends on our ability to expand our use of renewable, sustainable energy sources, like wind and solar. Fifteen years ago, we were one of the first states to set goals for our renewable energy consumption. Since then, other states have not only followed suit, but set a whole new round of goals that’s stronger than ours. We need to act now to insist that more of Delaware’s energy comes from renewable sources and more Delawareans benefit from those growing industries. I hope to work with advocates in the coming months to be sure we set achievable yet aggressive targets that benefit our environment and our economy.
Government should work for the people and always strive to be as transparent as possible. The Freedom of Information Act should be a resource for the public to have information necessary to make the best decisions about whether our policies and programs are effective and accessible to all Delawareans. I think we should embrace input from advocates and neighbors about how we can improve, not only FOIA, but all of state government, while also balancing transparency, privacy and security concerns.