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Delaware U.S. Senate

U. S. Senator – as a member of the upper chamber of U.S. Congress, regulates interstate commerce, interstate communication, interstate transportation, the U.S. Mint, and the supply of money. The U.S. Congress creates courts and declares war on foreign countries. The primary function of a U.S. senator is to make laws. Senators are assigned to serve on committees, in which they review bills, or proposed laws. Each committee focuses on a different topic, including budget, health, education, foreign relations, transportation and homeland security. Once a bill is passed in committee, all senators are responsible for voting on it. The Senate also has the power to impeach the president.Like every other state, Delaware elects two U.S. senators serving staggered six-year terms. One of our two senate seats is up for election this year.

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    Christopher A Coons **

  • Nadine M Frost

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    Mark W Turley

  • Candidate picture

    Lauren Witzke

Biographical Information

What motivated you to seek or continue in this office?

If elected, what are your primary goals for the coming year?

Please explain the policies, if any, you support to address gun violence in America.

What do you see as the best path to recovery of the U.S. economy following the COVID-19 crisis? What role, if any should legislative actions play in recovery efforts?

What federal policies or actions do you support that would reduce the impact of climate change?

What is your position on adopting the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution? If you favor it, how do you believe the time limit originally set for its adoption should be handled?

Do you see any need for campaign finance reform? Please explain.

Last edit date: submitted 8/4/2020
Phone: (302) 322-1140
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Age 57
Education - Yale Divinity School (1992) - Yale Law School (1992) - Amherst College (1985) - University of Nairobi - Tower Hill School
Work Experience - National Coalition for the Homeless - United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, Clerk - National "I Have a Dream" Foundation - W.L. Gore & Associates, Counsel - New Castle County, Executive - United States Senate, Senator
Community Involvement - U.S. Divestment Movement from South African Apartheid - Homelessness Rights/Advocacy - "I Have a Dream" Foundation - the South African Council of Churches - the Bear/Glasgow Boys & Girls Club - the Delaware College of Art & Design
Additional Information Wife to Annie Coons, father to Mike, Jack and Maggie Coons.
Ballotpedia Page (external resource)
I’m running for re-election to the US Senate because I want to continue fighting for Delawareans and our collective values. For the past three years, we've fought as the Trump Administration: gutted environmental regulations, separated children from their parents at the border and closed our nation's doors to refugees, rolled back Civil Rights protections, put the interests of for-profit colleges ahead of students, and attempted to end the Affordable Care Act.

This is a critical time in DE and the US. I want to continue helping entrepreneurs access capital and fighting for small business owners. I want to lead renewed efforts, hopefully with a new Biden Administration, to address climate change, pass gun safety legislation, and expand voting rights.

Most importantly, I want to keep working to help all Delawareans make the government work for them and solve our residents’ most pressing needs, from ensuring veterans secure their earned benefits to expediting SSA claims and more.
Our country is in the middle of three crises – the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic fallout of that pandemic, and a renewed awareness of systemic racial injustice. All three crises affect Delawareans across our state, regardless of their backgrounds. Congress can and must do more to provide the critical resources needed, including testing, contact tracing, and personal protective equipment. Additionally, Washington must provide all Delaware families with enhanced unemployment insurance, protections from evictions and foreclosures, and assistance to make it through the financial crisis brought on by this pandemic.

It's my goal to work together to address all three crises. I believe we can rise to the moment before us and bring this pandemic under control, while creating a more just and equitable country for all Delawareans – one that addresses long ignored systemic racism/injustice, bolsters meaningful enforcement of fair housing rules, strengthens voting rights, and heals the economy.
Thoughts and prayers are not enough. I’m proud to have been endorsed by Everytown for Gun Safety, the Giffords PAC, and Brady United, because I am committed to passing responsible legislation to keep our communities and citizens safe. I'm also proud to be a Gun Sense Candidate and work with members of Moms Demand Action (DE Chapter) to pass critical legislation in DC and Dover.

I'm leading efforts to truly enforce our existing background check laws through the NICS Denial Notification Act, a bill that will ensure that any time a prohibited person lies on a background check form and tries to buy a gun, law enforcement is notified. This short bill would close a gaping loophole in 34 states, including DE. I'm also sponsoring several important gun safety measures including:

S.3065, the Safe Gun Storage Act of 2019; S.184, the Gun Violence Prevention Research Act; S.1831, 3D Printed Gun Safety Act of 2019; S.42, the Background Check Expansion Act; S. 66, the Assault Weapons Ban of 2019
We need to invest in American families, which means providing continued financial support, enhanced unemployment insurance, and passing a pandemic relief package that will provide states, local governments, and schools with the resources they need. We also need to continue fighting for equity for all Delawareans by ensuring that business assistance is available through community banks and other community development financial institutions.

As we are able to safely reopen more of our economy, I will continue to support American manufacturing and innovation, as well as entrepreneurs and small business owners. Elected officials may not create private sector jobs, but we can pass legislation and provide resources that support an environmentally resilient, innovative, entrepreneurial economy. We can support increased workforce development and accessible, high quality education for all our children. With strong leadership and collective determination, we will overcome this together.
Delaware is the nation’s lowest lying state and at great risk of the damages of climate change. That’s why I’m leading strong climate change legislation to reduce carbon emissions and adopt sustainable, clean energy solutions. I’m also the founder of the first bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus and am proud to have earned the endorsements of the Sierra Club, League of Conservation Voters, National Wildlife Federation Action Fund and others.

I’m also deeply concerned about environmental justice, and the disparate impacts of climate change on poorer communities in DE and worldwide. That’s why I’m a co-sponsor of Senator Cory Booker’s Environmental Justice Act of 2019.

Most recently, I passed a bipartisan bill to promote sustainable chemistry and introduced legislation to cut energy costs for homeowners and save energy efficiency jobs. It's imperative we protect our environment, and I'm committed to passing legislation that fights climate change and promotes sustainability.
I fully support the Equal Rights Amendment, and am a sponsor of Senate Joint Resolution 6, which would eliminate the deadline for ratification of the ERA.

Separately, I am proud to have been endorsed by several women's rights organizations, and I will continue to fight for women and their rights in the US Senate.
I strongly support campaign finance reform. I have sponsored several bills focused on campaign finance reform, including a proposed constitutional amendment to repeal the Citizens United decision, which protects unlimited, undisclosed, outside spending in elections. I am also a sponsor of the DISCLOSE Act of 2019, the For the People Act of 2019, the SHIELD Act to prevent foreign interference in our elections, and the Fair Elections Now Act. I am also proud to have earned the support of End Citizens United PAC, a leading campaign finance reform advocacy organization.
Last edit date: submitted 10/19/2020
Phone: (302) 559-7361
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Age 55
Education AS Business Administration, With Honors BS Political Science & Government, With Honors
Work Experience Former Federal Law Enforcement Officer (DOJ) Business Owner: Delaware Book Exchange(Serving UD), Administrative Services (Financial Consulting)
Community Involvement Founding Member, Newark Merchants' Association (Chaired for 2 years), Member West Side Neighborhood Coalition (Wilmington) Volunteer: Americasn Red Cross, Emmanuel Dining Room, Sunday Breakfast Mission, Founder: The Liberty School
Ballotpedia Page (external resource)
My grandchildren. I wish to provide them with a better future. I believe I can make a real difference in Washington, and therefore for Delaware, and their futures.
Reduce the size of the Federal Government. Put the power back in the hands of the people, and take it away from unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats in DC. Actually take a long, hard look at the budget, and ascertain waste and mismanagement. Actively end programs that have long since passed their purpose. Return congress to their home districts, where they can be more responsive to their constituents, and less so to lobbyists. Rework the Department of education. Education decisions should be made by local school districts, or better yet, by the children's parents-NOT bureaucrats in DC.
Drug legalization. The heart of most of the gun crime in America is drug dealers killing off each other. Unfortunately far too many innocents get caught in the crossfire. Remove the financial incentive to engage in the illicit drug trade, and you also remove the incentive to visit violence on others.
Remove the shackles placed on Americans via fiat "emergency orders". Most people are intelligent, and capable of making good choices for themselves. Treating them like recalcitrant children only breeds resentment and hostility. Provide accurate information, without terrifying rhetoric, and let the people go. Americans are amazingly resilient and innovative. They will find a way.

If government had never inserted itself where it didn't belong in the first place, they wouldn't have a catastrophe they feel they now need to "fix". Why is the answer to problems created by oversized, overbearing government *always* MORE government? Perhaps it's time to step back.
I refuse to get into the debate about climate change. It is a lose-lose situation. When someone can point to a period in Earth's history when the climate DID NOT change, I will take those conditions under advisement. Until then, I'm going to assume the Earth is going to do what the Earth is going to do---change.
I do not favor it. We already have equal rights guaranteed by the Constitution.
Yes. Government should get out of campaign finance. Oddly enough, whenever the people in power "reform" campaign finance, they manage to write new restrictions that ultimately favor those in office over challengers, thus creating a long-standing status quo.
Last edit date: published 10/1/2020
Phone: (623) 565-3356
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Age 66
Education MBA Western International Business Management
Work Experience 40 years working in manufacturing sales, marketing, senior management. Past 10 years owner operator Projected Energy LLC, manufacturers rep agency specializing in manufacturing for renewable energy companies (solar, wind, geo thermal). Supplied large scale renewable energy projects with structural infrastructure materials. Suppling current solar energy companies dealing in residential, commercial and industrial scale renewable energy projects.
Community Involvement Board of Directors - Community HOA
Ballotpedia Page (external resource)
As a lifetime business person I became dissatisfied with the dysfunctional operations of our government at the federal level. The inability of Congress to act for the interests of "We The People" versus their own interests or the interests of their parties became obviously apparent when any issue came to Congress for action or discussion. I have admired past public servants who got involved in our government for the correct reason, to serve the public. My thought was to get involved at the federal level to make a difference in how Congress functions and show the American people there are leaders who care about the people and the issue affecting them.
Show Delaware I am woking for the state and show the country I am working them as well. Schedule a minimum of (12) town hall meetings throughout the state, one per month. Offer support to the mayors and city leaders of Delaware. Gather support and take action on: Term limits for Congress True campaign finance reform Balanced Federal Budget amendment Within a balanced Federal Budget solidify Medicare and Social Security Immigration reform - making sure the country is getting exactly what we need from our immigration laws and policies Bring jobs (manufacturing) to Delaware and the country

It is my feeling the rise in gun violence across America is partly due to the collapse of the family unit along with many years of desensitizing killing through violent movies, television shows, video games and the growing general disregard for human life and disrespect for authority at all levels. Stimulating economic growth within our larger cities can offer some relief to the problem of escalating gun violence. Recognizing this trend and taking the battle to the communities is vital. Strong national background checks also can be put in place.
The federal government needs to get out of the way allowing states, cities and towns to recover. Over reaching federal interference in the lives of our citizens can be more destructive than helpful. Congress already studied and implemented a plan at the federal level to offer businesses and individuals financial support. The relief plan offering Paycheck Protection money and the direct stimulus to the American people helped, now it is up to the states and cities to get their people back to work safely.
I have worked in and around the renewable energy market for over 20 years. At the end of 2019 the Investment Tax Credit program could have been extended at a full 30% and was not. I would put forth a proposed extension of the ITC at 30% for five more years. Large scale industrial and commercial renewable energy projects benefit directly from having the ITC at 30%. This would further stimulate renewable energy growth and investments into the renewable market.
Because the ERA time limit to ratify has expired without reaching the required state quota I believe it cannot be extended. I researching the issue there appears to be strong arguments on both sides. there also appears to be some legislative changes that have addressed some provisions of the ERA as proposed. I would look to do further research on the subject before making and informed judgement.
Yes. The latest campaign finance reform legislation of 2002 (McCain-Feingold) was not true campaign finance reform. It only pushed the ability for large donations down a different path. Far too much money is allowed to be spent on campaigns with a heavy and disproportionate amount pouring into incumbent campaigns for the main two parties (REP and DEM). It would be my position to limit the amount of campaign money allowed per office per election cycle. Funding of campaigns could be accomplished through limited public donations per candidate per election cycle as the limits are reached. Toady millions of dollars are funneled through PACs and think tanks allowed to support candidates. It is my conclusion this process of allowing large sums of money to be used for candidates campaigns leads to graft within the political system.
Last edit date: published 8/3/2020
Phone: (302) 396-3883
Campaign email:
Website or social media link:
Age 32
Education Bachelors Degree in Business Management, Goldey Beacom College
Work Experience Pharmaceutical Sales Rep- Forest Pharmaceuticals Program Director- Shenandoah Valley Teen Challenge (Faith Based Recovery Center) Field Organizer for Trump Victory
Community Involvement Volunteer at Delmarva Teen Challenge. Actively involved with Clarion Call Recovery Ministry- Anything Recovery oriented, I'm there!
Ballotpedia Page (external resource)
Chris Coons is a prime example of a politician who has lost touch with the American people. I decided to pursue this seat for U.S. Senate because initially, I saw that Delaware was crumbling to drug addiction, broken families, and broken communities. The elite class of politicians have made it as difficult as possible for millennials and generation z to have great jobs, living wages, equity, or even have families. I felt like the system was rigged against us, and a seat in the U.S. Senate will help me implement policies that can restore our families, communities, and our future. The opioid crisis ( which effects everyone) has reached epidemic proportions. As someone in recovery, I know how we can fix it- unlike those who sit in their ivory towers and have not struggled for anything a day in their life. I want to fight for the restoration of our families, make real recovery solutions available/accessible to the public, and make it easier for the younger generation to succeed.
*When* elected, the first piece of legislation I will draft is to provide federal funding for long term residential recovery centers- this includes faith-based solutions, like the one I graduated from. Long-term residential recovery centers like Teen Challenge have a 70% success rate, and also provide an alternative choice for those who are incarcerated to serve their sentences there. Providing real recovery solutions, as opposed to just incarceration, will help rebuild our communities and give those caught in the realm of addiction/drug dealing an opportunity to unlearn what they have learned and become productive members of society again. The current problem with these recovery centers, is that they are always understaffed and underfunded. Imagine what we could accomplish if we could federally fund successful solutions, and spread this success en masse. Also, making welfare money available to married couples, so mothers can choose to marry and not lose their benefits.
Gun violence has certainly become a problem- especially in our inner cities. Our inner-cities are crumbling because of the breakdown of their families. Since 1965, we have incentivized the breakdown of the nuclear family and removed our fathers from the home. Since then, our crime rates have sky rocketed, including gun violence. Little boys are growing up without strong fathers in the home, and lose their way. If we can incentivize marriage and family- as opposed to fatherlessness, we can restore a stable society. As a victim of assault, I refuse to submit to any gun legislation that will inhibit my right to bear arms. A well-armed woman is the great equalizer against violent assaults, and to me is a women's right issue.
Reopen immediately- and direct all stimulus aid packages and aid to the small businesses and populace who have been victims of this government overreach. Also, end all foreign guest worker programs to ensure that EVERY American has a job over any foreigner. With 40+ American's out of work, there is no reason for the political elite to import more cheap foreign labor to replace us in the workforce. We must get America back to work, and remember- Big Businesses such as Amazon were the only ones who benefitted from the COVID-19 shut down.
Great strides towards renewable energy hurt our unions and American workers. Protecting American workers first is my priority.
The wage gap is a myth, according to several of the most predominate economists like the Foundation for Economic Education. I do not support adopting the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Yes. Wealthy interests serve as an incumbent protection racket for politicians who do the bidding of those interests.