Former Sussex County Administrator Dave Baker announced his candidacy for Senate District 6 Wednesday, March 7, when he filed paperwork at the Sussex County Department of Elections in Georgetown.
The morning after the announcement, Baker said he didn’t have any intention of running for office when he retired from the county in 2012 after 33 years of employment.
“I’ve always been interested in public service, but I kind of wanted a break from it,” said Baker, a 66-year-old Democrat from Milton. “I’ve decided to run now because there are some important issues facing the district that are not being properly addressed.”
Baker said his key policy priorities are tax reform for the middle class, including breaks for healthcare, student loans and tuition costs; infrastructure improvements, including water and sewer; and better healthcare for all with investments in facilities and workforce to attract medical professionals.
“Basically, I consider myself an issues-based candidate,” he said.
Baker is a past member of Cape Henlopen school board and boards of CHEER and Primeros Pasos Early Learning Center in Georgetown. He serves on Beebe medical center’s investment committee and the state’s Water Infrastructure Advisory Council. He has also served as a Boy Scout leader and coach for Milton Little League.
Baker has been a full-time Sussex and 6th District resident since 1978. He has bachelor degrees in accounting and sociology from the University of Delaware and a master’s in business administration from Wilmington College.
Two-term incumbent, Ernie Lopez, a Republican from Lewes, filed for re-election in December.
In a statement March 8, Lopez said he was surprised to learn Baker plans to run.
“As a longtime supporter of mine, I certainly feel as though any concerns he may have had about my record in the Senate were ones in which he could sit down and speak with me about face to face,” said Lopez.
Baker said he’s not sure why Lopez is surprised because he called the senator to inform him of his decision.
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.
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.