Election 2022

Primaries set in state, Sussex

September 2, 2022
The Tuesday, Sept. 13 primary is set with face-offs in state and county seats. Cape Gazette has compiled an overview of candidates.


6th Senatorial District

Democratic primary

Jack Bucchioni

Age: 71

Hometown: Milton

Family: Wife Linda; two sons; one daughter; five grandchildren

Education: Bachelor’s degree in history/political science; master’s degree in history/political science. Education teaching certificate. 

Relevant experience: Former educator up to and including the university graduate school level. He spent most of his life's work later as a CEO/senior executive/owner of various mid-market companies in the international consumer products industry. Current owner and show host Delaware Press Association's award-winning Blue Coast Talk Productions, and was frequent on-air guest host for the QVC television network. Member of the Beau Biden Foundation Committee, Milton Lions Club, American Legion Post 17, Sussex County League of Women Voters, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania MBA program reoccurring panelist, Sussex Health and Environmental Network, and the Mid-Atlantic Justice Coalition. Elected to the Delaware Democratic Party State Executive Committee of 25 and Sussex County member-at-large representative to the Delaware Democratic Party. He’s a Delaware Democratic Party State Convention delegate, Sussex County Democratic Party and RD 20 committee member, Democratic Party event producer for the virtual Dem-A-Thon fundraising show broadcasts and webmaster for Sussex County Delaware Democratic Party website.

Top reason for running: Save and protect our coastal region going forward: i.e. uncontrolled building and overdevelopment, Jan. 6 coup, individual rights, and our coastal quality of life.

Russ Huxtable

Age: 49

Hometown: Lewes

Family: Wife Courtney and two children 

Education: Russ is a native Delawarean who attended public school in New Castle County and holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Delaware. His college experience volunteering in Appalachia led him to a lifelong career in public service.

Relevant experience: A nationally recognized leader in housing and community development, Russ is currently vice president and chief operating officer of the Milford Housing Development Corporation. In his capacity as an affordable housing advocate for two decades with a nonprofit organization, Russ has demonstrated his ability to form coalitions and partnerships at all levels of government to create results-oriented solutions.

Top reason for running: My community development experience, and the need for dynamic, energizing leadership, fueled my desire to impact positive change in our district. We can do more.


4th Representative District

Republican primary

Bradley Layfield

Age: 42

Hometown: Millsboro

Family: Single, no children

Education: EdD in policy and administration from the University of Delaware; master’s degree in school administration; bachelor’s degree political science and education.

Relevant experience: I have been in public school education for 22 years as a teacher, athletic director, discipline dean, instructional coach, assistant principal, and I am in my ninth year as principal of Sussex Central High School. I spent 10 years on the board of the Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association and chaired the group for five years. Also, chair of Sussex County Board of Adjustments and Appeals.

Top reason for running: Government accountability and responsiveness to voters; keeping the Inland Bays clean; supporting police and first responders; and fighting to uphold the Constitution and individual rights. 


Jeff Hilovsky

Age: 66 

Hometown: Long Neck

Family: Wife Marcia; three adult children: Tim and wife Melissa; Katie Thorne and husband Ryan; Brad and wife Jenna. Four grandchildren: Natalie, Jaxon, Chloe and Carter

Education: Bachelor’s degree in biology from Grove City College; doctor of optometry, Illinois College of Optometry; Air War College.

Relevant experience: Job creator and business owner of a successful optometry practice; retired colonel and medical commander for the 512 AW at Dover AFB during Operation Iraqi Freedom; served as president, Delaware Board of Examiners in Optometry; president of Delaware Optometric Association; adjunct clinical professor for University of Missouri and Salus University; medical director and network administrator for Vision Source. Appointed to serve on the clinical portion of the National Board of Examiners in Optometry. Created and instituted Leadership is a Lifestyle program as a volunteer, and entering sixth year of teaching the program at Sussex Central, Cape Henlopen and Delmar high schools. Raised $5,000 for Lions Vision Research Foundation at Johns Hopkins University Medical Center by riding my bicycle across the state of New York, and raised $750 for our local Lions Club scholarship program last year by riding my bicycle across Michigan. Led a mission team to Appalachia to work at Chestnut Mountain Ranch, a Christian home and school for boys with a troubled past. Has served on Easterseals Sussex County Advisory Board for 23 years; Lions Club for 25 years.   

Top reason for running: The depth and breadth of my life experiences uniquely qualify me to represent the 4th House District. I will serve as the full-time representative.


36th Representative District

Republican primary

Bryan Shupe

Age: 37

Hometown: Milford

Family: Wife Sherry; children Evelyn, 6, and Theodore, 3.

Education: Milford High School; bachelor’s degree in political science, University of Delaware.

Relevant experience: Shupe and his wife have owned a small business in Milford for the past 11 years, Fur Baby Pet Resort. Shupe created Milford LIVE News 12 years ago before selling the company and becoming the CEO of Delaware LIVE News, expanding hyper-local news through the First State. Mayor of Milford, 2014-18, during the expansion of the Bayhealth Sussex Campus and Milford Wellness Village. Has served in the General Assembly as state representative for the 36th District Committee since 2019, serving on the Health, Education, and Natural Resources committees. 

Top reason for running: I have created and executed plans to expand our healthcare, rehabilitate infrastructure and preserve open space. We need leadership to continue meeting these community needs.  


Patrick Smith

Age: 36

Hometown: Ellendale 

Family: Wife Shannon; brother and two sisters; two dogs and a cat.

Education: Master of business administration from Wilmington University.

Relevant experience: I am not a career politician.  

Top reason for running: The citizens deserve visible and genuine leaders that work for the people, not the establishment.

State Auditor of Accounts

Democratic primary

Kathleen McGuiness

Age: 55

Hometown: Rehoboth Beach

Family: Married with three children and two dogs.

Education: Florida Institute of Technology (biology); Northeastern University (pharmacy).

Relevant experience: Certified fraud examiner; licensed and registered pharmacist; City of Rehoboth Audit Committee for 16 years, and budget committee; National State Auditors’ Association committees; Delaware Board of Pardons; Delaware African American Task Force Maternal Health subcommittee; Delaware GEAR financial delivery services; Delaware Insurance Determination committee; founding president of Rehoboth Beach Main Street; former trustee at Delaware State University; served as board member for Lewes-Rehoboth Meals on Wheels; served as board member Sussex Family YMCA; Business and Professional Women’s Employer of the Year; FBI Citizens Academy graduate; Delaware’s Pharmacist of the Year 2021; Delaware’s Tourism Person of the Year 2001; led the first national audit collaborating with four other states; created the CARES Act fund tracker; identified close to $1 billion in government overspending, and potential revenue; developed the fraud app at and Gray Fox, tracking Delaware’s American Rescue Plan Act funds; worked with inspectors general across the nation to update; ranked No. 1 in the country on for audit reports presented.

Top reason for running: Created and implemented national initiatives; released more engagements; fielded more hotline tips; revealed about $1 billion dollars in savings and potential revenue in first term.  


Lydia York

Age: 63

Hometown: Pike Creek

Family: Single, no children, one sister, one niece, one nephew

Education: Bachelor’s degree. accounting, Florida A&M University; MBA, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania; J. D., Beasley School of Law, Temple University; LL.M in Taxation, Beasley School of Law, Temple University

Relevant experience: I'm a certified public accountant. I've worked in public accounting and accounting management; I've worked in corporate financial management; I have experience with small law firms and currently practice as a solo practitioner in Elder Law, Estates and Trusts. There is more detail on my website,

Top reason for running: The opportunity to bring all my work experience and training to bear on a critical function of state government in need of leadership and integrity.


Sussex County Recorder of Deeds

The mission of the Recorder of Deeds Office is to serve the residents of Sussex County by correctly recording and indexing documents in a timely and efficient manner, responding to requests for help and information, and collecting and properly accounting for the appropriate fees and taxes. When you close on the purchase of a home or real estate, it is usually the job of your title or escrow agent to file your original deed – the document showing that you now legally own the property – in the appropriate government office in your county. This is called recording the deed.


Scott Dailey

Hometown: Lewes

Family: He and his wife Deniene, who is co-owner of Sunrise Real Estate and Aurora Homes, have have three grown children – all Cape Henlopen graduates.

Education: Bachelor’s degree from the University of Delaware.

Relevant experience: Served three terms as recorder of deeds; a Lewes-based Realtor since 2003; broker of Sunrise Real Estate and the owner of Aurora Homes, a small, family-based semi-custom builder based in downtown Lewes. Sunrise Real Estate is a boutique brokerage firm that was founded in 2004. He is a member of the Delaware State Sportsmen's Association, and has served as an elder and worship leader at New Covenant Presbyterian Church in Lewes.

Top reason for running: I am committed to continue to lead the office as a conservative. I will continue to increase the efficiency and cut costs. I also want to complete the process of making all of the county property records available anywhere in the world at any time online. I hope to continue to reduce office spending so the county can have funds available for other priorities.


Alexandra Reed Baker

Hometown: Harbeson

Family: She and her husband, Dan Baker, have a 4-year-old daughter, Blake. Her husband owns and operates Tri-State Tree Service LLC, which has been in business for 40 years.

Education: The Cape Henlopen High School graduate has a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from the University of Delaware and a master's degree in administration of justice from Wilmington University.

Relevant experience: Worked at Capstone Homes for 10 years, where she coordinates the company's real estate transactions.

Top reason for running: I have a calling for public service and want to give back to my community. I have the skillset and desire to provide the residents of Sussex County a value for their hard-earned tax dollars. My biggest motivator is my 4-year-old daughter, Blake. She motivates me every day to make the world a better place. I do not like where our country is headed and want to do my part to try to make it better.


Sussex County Register of Wills

The Register of Wills Office is responsible for the administration of all estates being probated in Sussex County. The register of wills grants authority to personal representatives to administer estates and is responsible for making sure that those administrations are carried out in compliance with Delaware law.


Ellen Magee

Hometown: Rural Selbyville

Education: Indian River High School, Class of 1977.

Relevant experience: Co-owner of Magee Farms for 44 years, a family-owned and operated business since 1865; appointed to the Sussex County Board of Adjustment in 2017 and served as chair; appointed as register of wills in 2021; serves on the Delaware Board of Charitable Gaming; board of directors for Camp Barnes; has served in leadership roles with the Roxana Volunteer Fire Company Ladies Auxiliary, where she is a lifetime member.

Top reason for running: I would like to continue the momentum and great strides we have started. I was appointed to the office at the beginning of 2021. During the pandemic, I was able to implement changes to help the office become more efficient, and streamline processes and procedures. This and our great staff allowed us to remain open and serving the public. Our office is the busiest it’s ever been, and I would like to continue to make the process run more smoothly to help the people of Sussex County navigate the probate and non-probate process more easily.


Candice Green Wilkinson

Hometown: Ellendale

Family: She and her husband Jeremy have two daughters.

Education: Graduate of Greenwood Mennonite School and Polytech Adult Education.

Relevant experience: Active in county Republican politics; works as a registrar and patient care technician at a Milton healthcare facility.

Top reason for running: As an in-home healthcare provider and medical professional, I have experience in providing excellent care with compassion that is needed during a difficult time. I have over 10 years of experience as a nationally certified registrar and am highly skilled with electronic records. My professional experience with the elderly and families at the end of life gives me the unique qualifications to serve the office well. I promise to protect the wealth of the citizens of Sussex County by never raising taxes. I am the only candidate that has not been appointed to this position by a Democratic governor. My professional experience and commitment to upholding our conservative values and freedoms ensures that the Register of Wills Office will remain under local control.


Greg Fuller

Hometown: Lincoln

Family: He and his wife Esther have two grown sons.

Education: Degree in general studies from Wilmington University; master of science in administration of justice-homeland security; degree in biblical studies; graduate of Sonship School of the First Born, Christian House of Prayer.

Relevant experience: Served as register of wills from 2008-10; U.S. Army veteran; former Delaware corrections officer who established boot camps; memberships in several organizations and church groups including American Legion Post 18, Ellendale Fire Department, Delaware State Sportsmen’s Association, Sussex Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 2; USO member; Home of the Brave board member; mentor to at-risk children; ran for office as 36th District representative and lieutenant governor.

Top reason for running: I love serving others and have committed my life to doing so. I would like to serve the fine people of Sussex County in this capacity to ensure that they all understand the importance of having a will and also to educate them on what to expect and how to navigate the office prior to needing its services. I want to return this office to the people by reinstating my Helpful Tips Seminars.


Sussex County Council District 5

District 5 includes the area in and around Georgetown and Millsboro in central Sussex County.


John Rieley

Hometown: Millsboro

Family: He and his wife Lou Ann have raised 11 children.

Education: Degree in business and economics from the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Relevant experience: Served one term as District 5 councilman; retired after careers in financial planning and food service; runs family farm; member of Georgetown Economic Development Committee; former Greater Georgetown Chamber of Commerce president.

Top reasons for running: I'm running to serve. I have 11 children and 24 grandchildren, and we want to help ensure that the Sussex County we have known and loved is still here for them. There are a number of issues I want to see through such as the workforce housing initiative, the $1.2 billion allocated by DelDOT for Sussex County roads over the next five years and continuing to strengthen our paramedic program, 911 call center, fire companies and police. I would like to see us continue to buy open space and work with the Sussex County Land Trust to provide public access to land purchased with public money. While I know that growth will continue, I want to be sure that we protect our farms, our forests and our inland waterways and bays. To that end, I will continue to oppose converting large swaths of our land to high-density zoning and will only support rezoning to high density on a case-by-case basis when the need is demonstrated and the scenario is appropriate.


Keller Hopkins

Hometown: Georgetown

Family: He and his wife Joann have seven grown children.

Relevant experience: Lifelong Sussex County resident; founder and owner of Hopkins Construction for 35 years; member of Sussex County Planning & Zoning Commission since 2016; former Sussex County Republican chairman.

Top reasons for running: I have the insight on how to conduct business as a county councilman. Land use needs careful and immediate attention, and we can't wait another four years. We have to get our arms around sprawl. We've been building in corn fields and soybean fields for 20 years. If you’re satisfied with that, I'm not your man. If you want change, then I'm your man. It’s paramount to focus development around town centers where jobs and services are, and to increase density in those areas.


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