EMILY's List

We ignite change by getting pro-choice
Democratic women elected to office.


Roll Call: Delaware on Path to Electing First Female and African-American

September 13, 2016

Roll Call: Delaware on Path to Electing First Female and African-American

Lisa Blunt Rochester is on the path to making history in Delaware.

The state's former secretary of Labor won the Democratic primary for Rep. John Carney's at-large House seat Tuesday night, and is likely to be the first woman and first African-American the First State sends to Congress. 

Delaware's House seat is considered safely Democratic.  

With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Rochester led with 44 percent of the vote in the six-way primary. 

EMILY's List backed Rochester and helped get her campaign off the ground. To date, Delaware is one of just three states that has never sent a woman to Congress. 

State Sen. Bryan Townsend, the only legislator among the three most competitive candidates, came in second with 25 percent of the vote. He had the backing of many of the state's largest labor groups. He chose not to run TV ads, instead spending on targeted mail. 

VoteVets, a progressive group that works to elect more veterans to Congress, backed 2014 Democratic Treasurer candidate Sean Barney, who came in third at 20 percent. A Marine veteran, Barney received the Purple Heart for his service in Iraq.

Carney is leaving Congress at the end of this term to run for governor. This seat wasn't supposed to be open this year. Carney had been supporting former Attorney General Beau Biden for governor. But when the vice president's son died from brain cancer last year, the three-term congressman decided to run.