Six years into his tenure as Delaware’s Senatorial District 6 representative, Ernie Lopez said patience has been the one attribute he’s relied on most.
Making sure to see the forest through the trees, solving the problems of the day and a willingness to work with anyone are the things that have been most important to his success, he said Dec. 13.
Lopez, a Republican, filed re-election paperwork Dec. 12 at the Sussex County Department of Elections in Georgetown.
As one of 11 Sussex County legislators up for re-election in 2018, Lopez is seeking his third term. In 2012, he defeated Democratic challenger Andy Staton, and in 2014 he was re-elected, defeating Democrat Claire Snyder Hall. Lopez’s first term was two years because it was a reapportioned seat. After that, it’s a four-year term.
Senate District 6, which moved from northern New Castle County to Sussex County during redistricting in 2012, encompasses Dewey Beach, Rehoboth Beach, Lewes and Milton.
Lopez said the state’s budget and healthcare issues still need to be addressed. He said there needs to be a thoughtful discussion on cost efficiencies for the state, and he’s looking forward to expanding the number of healthcare insurers offered in Delaware.
Lopez also said it’s time to make sure state employees – like teachers and corrections officers – have the resources they need to do their work. He said he keeps hearing about how state workers have seen their workload increase with the same pay.
The biggest change for Lopez since the 2014 campaign is at a personal level – he and his wife, Janis, have separated.
Noting the change in his family dynamic, Lopez said he still has two beautiful daughters whom he loves, a supportive family and a constituency that has recognized every family has challenges. This district has embraced him, he said, and Lopez says his constituents appreciate his continued hard work on their behalf.
“There really has been an outpouring of support,” he said. “So many people have told me how proud they are for my reasonable and thoughtful actions. I’m really happy to get this campaign started.”
Additional 2018 election information
Sen. Bryant Richardson, R-Laurel, is also up for re-election.
House members serve two-year terms, and all nine representatives from Sussex County are up for re-election, including Speaker of the House Rep. Pete Schwartzkopf, House Minority Leader Rep. Daniel Short and Reps. Steve Smyk, Dave Wilson, Harvey Kenton, Ruth Briggs King, Donald Gray, Timothy Dukes and Richard Collins. Schwartzkopf is the only Democrat.
In statewide races, Attorney General Matt Denn has announced he’s not running for re-election, State Treasurer Ken Simpler has announced his intentions to run for a second term and State Auditor Thomas Wagner hasn’t announced anything. As of deadline Dec. 14, neither Simpler nor Wagner, had filed.
At the federal level, U.S. Sen. Tom Carper and, like all members of the House of Representatives, Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester are up for re-election. U.S. Sen. Chris Coons is up for re-election in 2020. All three of the state’s federal legislators are Democrats.
The deadline for candidates to file for a statewide office and all other offices is noon, Tuesday, July 10.
The statewide primary election is set for Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018. The deadline to register to vote for the primary is Saturday, Aug. 11.
The statewide general election is set for Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018. The deadline to register to vote for the general election is Saturday, Oct. 13.