Briggs King leaves big shoes to fill

December 1, 2023

As former Speaker of the House Pete Schwartzkopf has often touted, Delaware's elected officials have the ability to rise above national politics and work with people of opposing values or viewpoints to get things done. And while that is becoming a taller task these days, Ruth Briggs King was an example of someone willing to work with her constituents and colleagues across the aisle for the betterment of the First State. 

Briggs King was forced to resign her post recently when she moved into a new home just outside the 37th District. A special election for her replacement is set for Thursday, Dec. 21. 

Briggs King was first elected in 2009 during a special election for a seat vacated by former Rep. Joe Booth. As the representative of Georgetown and parts of Millsboro, Harbeson and greater Lewes, she got right to work representing a diverse population in one of the fastest-growing areas of the state. 

Briggs Kings was a primary sponsor of Aiden’s Law aimed at protecting infants exposed to illegal drugs and alcohol during the mother’s pregnancy.  

She was also a strong advocate for Sussex County. Shortly after Gov. John Carney was elected, she personally met with him to discuss issues at Sussex Tech. It wasn’t long before they were resolved.

She warned Carney about unrest brewing in Delaware prisons. A deadly riot at a Smyrna prison soon followed, unfortunately proving she had her finger on the pulse of Delaware. 

As the only Republican woman in the House, she brought a different perspective to Legislative Hall. She was able to advocate for more OB/GYNs in Sussex County while also challenging hospital boards to increase female representation. She also worked on numerous committees and championed many other causes during her 14 years of service. 

As of press time, it looks like Briggs King’s seat will be filled by another woman. So far, Republican Valerie Jones Giltner and Democrat Jane Hovington have expressed interest in the seat. The Cape Gazette plans to provide an in-depth article on their platforms so voters in the 37th District can go to the polls informed and confident they're choosing the right person for the job. 

  • Editorials are considered and written by Cape Gazette Editorial Board members, including Publisher Chris Rausch, Editor Jen Ellingsworth, News Editor Nick Roth and reporters Ron MacArthur and Chris Flood. 

Subscribe to the Daily Newsletter