Ocean View Councilman Perry Mitchell has officially filed to run against incumbent state Sen. George Bunting in this fall’s primary election for the Democratic nomination for the District 20 senate seat.
Mitchell said he started campaigning and recently held a fundraiser in Ocean View. He also recently attended the Heritage Festival in Seaford and said he has spoken with 110 Democratic voters on his door-knocking campaign. “Change is coming,” he said.
He also recently spoke to the Energy Committee chaired by Rep. John Kowalko on behalf of consumers, concerning Delmarva Power’s recently increased rates.
“In the final analysis, I don’t think that the ratepayer/consumer deserves higher rates in this kind of economy. Higher rates are reflected in more costs and fuels inflation. It is not in the public interest to cause this ripple effect. There are many retired people in Delaware on retirement fixed income who cannot afford higher rates,” he said.
“I think that will be a major issue in the campaign,” explained Mitchell later, “as well as holding Bunting accountable for his son’s proposal for the casino at the inlet. Bunting proclaims himself as an environmentalist, and I don’t see how he could do that. He said he would recuse himself from the vote, but I don’t even think there should be a vote for that.”
Mitchell applauded HB 414, the bill introduced to add supplemental funding to municipal street aid from the state. And, through his newsletter, has solicited ideas to improve public policy from potential constituents.
He also explained there are several issues that Bunting voted against that he would have been for, including an alcohol tax, a minimum wage for tipped earners, Greenhouse gas caps and a recycling bill.
Mitchell was scheduled to speak on June 2, to address the 38th District and the Eastern Sussex Democrats in Milton.
“We need to make Delaware the wind capital of the U. S.,” offered Mitchell. “The U. S. is seriously deficient in the manufacturing of wind turbines, which is dominated by foreign companies who make the wind turbines. They also dominate most of the emerging U. S. wind farms today.
“The federal stimulus provided for billion of dollars for wind energy, but this money mostly went to the foreign companies,” Mitchell continued. “The U. S. has only two companies, G.E. and Wind Clipper, who manufacture wind turbines, and they account for a small part of the U. S. wind sector. If I am elected, I will aggressively attract U. S. wind investment to Delaware.”
Several U.S. states have companies that specialize in small wind turbine manufacturing, including Arizona, Vermont and Oklahoma, said Cameron Haughey of Flexera, a Harbeson, Del.-based solar and wind company.
Haughey said they recently received a research and design grant for a vertical access wind turbine prototype that has been in the works for two years, and they have hopes of manufacturing it in Sussex County. The prototype can be seen at Flexera’s Harbeson headquarters, but marketing it is still a few years out. That type of turbine is more of a residential size. He noted that much of the larger wind turbines that provide power for large commercial establishments are made overseas in places such as Germany and Spain.
As for Bunting, he said he was proud of his 26 years as a state senator and of his working relationship with Republican Rep. Gerald Hocker (38th), and is especially proud of the things they have seen accomplished over the years while maintaining a working relationship, no matter what their political affiliation.
“And unless I am seeing a mirage, there’s a bridge getting built over the inlet that I worked on for years,” Bunting said.
Bunting was a state representative from 1982 to 1984, and 1986 to 1996; and has been a state senator since 1996. Mitchell has been an Ocean View town councilman since 2008. The 20th Senatorial district covers Rehoboth Beach, Dewey Beach, Long Neck, Millsboro, Dagsboro, Frankford, Millville, Ocean View, Bethany, South Bethany, Fenwick Island and Selbyville, as well as Henlopen Acres near Rehoboth Beach.