Steve Smyk has my vote for state senator

April 5, 2022

It was with great pleasure that I read in the April 1 edition of the Cape Gazette that Rep. Steve Smyk is throwing his hat in the ring to run for state senator from my district.

Although I have been a registered Democrat for many years and a lifelong (80 years) gay man, I will wholeheartedly support Rep. Smyk for his candidacy to the Delaware State Senate. 

Although Rep. Smyk and I probably don’t agree on many of the current political issues of the day, the main reason I am support Steve is respect. 

Rep. Smyk was the only person of either political party who personally stopped by my house and left a note in my mailbox (I wasn’t home at the time) wishing me well on my marriage in 2013 to my longtime partner of 57 years. 

That simple, selfless act of kindness and respect left me with an immense respect for Rep. Smyk. For someone of a differing political views, to extend that kind of respect to me and my husband, how often does that happen? 

Since I moved to Delaware in 2006, I’ve met most of the high-ranking members of the Democratic political party in Delaware on an informal basis. When I have introduced myself to these politicians, I was not met with a warm smile, but with a look that seemed to say, “Is this someone important in the gay community I should be paying attention to?” Rightly or wrongly, that was my impression, and when I gave them my name, they of course didn’t recognize it because I am not a person of consequence in the gay community. I just happen to be gay. 

Several months ago, I happened to see Rep. Smyk shopping at the Food Lion in Milton. When I approached him, I was met with his big smile even before I introduced myself by name. The first smile I’ve been met with by any Delaware politician, from Gov. Carney, former Gov. Markell, and Rep. Schwartzkopf. The lone exception was when I met U.S. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester. A very nice lady to this stranger to her. She even agreed to take a selfie with me.

So while we may all have our political differences, I will always vote for the person, Democrat or Republican, who treats an ordinary, non-politically connected citizen like me with respect. Rep. Smyk is such a person. He is a good and decent person who views his job as doing what is best for his constituents whatever their political affiliation, gay or straight. 

I am very happy Rep. Smyk had decided to run for Delaware state senator from my district. He’s got my vote!

Ron Tipton


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