Eastern Sussex Republican Committee touched on everything from schools to social media as members tried to decide where to focus the group's message in the coming election. At the committee’s Sept. 23 meeting, Vice President Phoebe Cottingham first drew attention to the state’s unemployment rate. “We really have a shrinkage of people who are in the labor force,” she said. “Every month it’s declining.”
Billy Carroll, who said he is running to represent Sussex County Council District 4, said
Gov. Jack Markell’s opposition to fracking has cost the state thousands of jobs. He also said big corporations, such as AstraZeneca, are taxed too heavily by the federal government and are then forced to move overseas. “It’s just disgusting the way the Democratic Party has systematically skewered the American working man,” Carroll said.
Cottingham also said she is disappointed Delaware leaders go along with national Democratic initiatives in energy, healthcare, labor and school regulations. “The psychology of Delaware’s political leadership is to think of themselves as the good child,” she said. “It ignores the real needs of the state.”
Delaware Federation of Republican Women President Mary Spicer said the party needs a cohesive message.
Committee member Ian Knight echoed Spicer; he suggested the committee agree on a few issues that concern people of various ages. “We need to get focused,” he said. “We need to come up with two or three that we continue to pound on.”
Committee President Tony Matero said it is difficult to involve young people in politics because they are busy raising children and working full time. “These kids are struggling out there,” he said.
Gale White, president of Sussex County Women’s Republican Club, said the committee could be more active in social media. “Particularly Pinterest and Twitter,” she said.
White said people in their 20s and 30s are tuned-in to social media. “They’re also the fastest growing population,” she said.
“They always call us the party of ‘no,’” said Matero. “What has the party of ‘yes’ accomplished in the last eight years?”
The committee is scheduled to meet Monday, Oct. 28, to elect its leaders. For more information, go to sussexgop.org.