Republican James DeMartino filed paperwork March 20 to challenge Democratic incumbent Pete Schwartzkopf in the race for Delaware’s 14th Representative District.
In 2016, DeMartino lost by a 2-1 margin to Schwartzkopf, who has represented the district since 2002, serving as Speaker of the House since 2012.
In a prepared statement, DeMartino said he vows to identify Schwartzkopf as a true progressive Democrat, only concerned with enforcing Gov. John Carney’s agenda.
As examples, DeMartino cited Schwartzkopf’s sponsoring of three bills last year that increased taxes, including House Bill 279, which increased the realty transfer tax rate from 3 percent to 4 percent. He also cited Schwartzkopf’s support of a failed income tax increase.
However, DeMartino said, Schwartzkopf did achieve a 20 percent reduction in funding to senior centers, fire companies and all other nonprofits.
“We have to go beyond what he says to his constituents and see what he does,” said DeMartino. “Read his legislative record, the regulations he supports, bills he sponsors and his voting record on raising taxes, denial of parental rights on abortion and gender identification by minors. He is a true progressive intent on infringing on our constitutional and moral rights. Representative Schwartzkopf must be held accountable for his actions.”
DeMartino is a graduate of The Citadel and received his law degree from Fordham University. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps and completed his service as an intelligence officer achieving the rank of major. He is currently a practicing attorney. He is the father of two adult sons and lives in Lewes.
The 14th Representative District includes parts of the Lewes area, as well as all of Rehoboth Beach, Dewey Beach, Henlopen Acres and Angola.
As of March 20, Schwartzkopf had not filed for re-election, but he said in early January that he planned to do so.
The deadline for candidates to file for a statewide office and all other offices is noon, Tuesday, July 10.
The statewide primary election is Thursday, Sept. 6. The deadline to register to vote in the primary is Saturday, Aug. 11.
The statewide general election is Tuesday, Nov. 6. The deadline to register to vote in the general election is Saturday, Oct. 13.