The Democratic primary for House District 14 was over before it began.
Rehoboth Beach resident Nelson Warren, who filed for the district seat race in the final minutes before the July 8 deadline, has officially withdrawn his name for consideration from the District 14 race.
The move comes July 16, just eight days after he filed as a Democrat for the Sept. 9 primary.
It was a case of youthful ignorance, said Warren on why he decided to remove his name. “Besides, I didn't have any money,” he said.
Warren would have been in a race against Speaker of the House Rep. Pete Schwartzkopf, D-Rehoboth Beach, who has not had to participate in a primary race since first being elected as district representative in 2002.
Warren said shortly after filing, he and Schwartzkopf spoke about the issues he was most concerned about - the repealing of the death penalty and the legalization of marijuana - and it was that conversation that changed his mind. Warren said a Democratic primary in District 14 would distract resources from more hotly contested races in other districts, and would not be the best way to have his message get out.
“There was a constructive dialogue between us,” said Warren. “Rather than have a costly and terrible election process that eats up resources, I felt it would be better to withdraw my name.”
Schwartzkopf said he knew Warren withdrawing was a possibility, but he was still surprised to hear about the move.
Warren is going to have more time to do what he wants to do, Schwartzkopf said, which is educate people on why marijuana should be legalized. Schwartzkopf said he had a good conversation with Warren, and he's a good young guy, but his message would have gotten lost during the discussion of other issues, such as transportation, the growing elderly population and tourism, said Schwartzkopf.
“It was a very hospitable and friendly conversation,” he said.
There are no Republican challengers for the district seat at this time, but Charlie Copeland, Republican Party state chairman, has until 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 2, to nominate a candidate to run against Schwartzkopf.
District 14 includes parts of the Lewes ZIP code, as well as all of Rehoboth Beach, Dewey Beach and Henlopen Acres.