Rappa launches second run for 37th District Representative seat

LONG NECK – Paulette Rappa believes this year the planets are favorably in alignment in her second run for Delaware’s House of Representatives.

The 54-year-old Democrat from Long Neck officially filed Thursday morning, about a week after announcing her candidacy.

She is seeking the 37th District seat held since 2009 by Ruth Briggs King, a Republican from Georgetown.

“I am asking for your vote, but more importantly I am asking you to join me to make the common sense choice that will bring your voice and your values to Dover,” Ms. Rappa said.

Paulette Rappa

Paulette Rappa

In winning re-election in the 2014, Rep. Briggs King nearly doubled Ms. Rappa’s poll pull (4,173 to 2,214) among voters in the 37th District. That district encompasses Georgetown and Long Neck.

Election 2014 in Sussex County was a GOP landslide. The only Democrat to emerge victorious was Speaker of the House Pete Schwartzkopf.

Ms. Rappa feels the tables have turned in 2016.

“At the end of 2014 with that election we saw the frustration in the people. It is definitely here,” Ms. Rappa said. “I feel this election people are more engaged in the process. It is a presidential election and regardless of which side you are on, the election coming up is showing us that people want change.”

She contends there needs to be more accountable leadership in Sussex County:

“There is a difference between listening and acknowledging and listening and leading. I am the leader that listens and gets the work done, and my community service is evidence of that,” said Ms. Rappa. “The people are looking for somebody that is not just going to listen and acknowledge but listen and lead.”

“I have been doing that for the last two years. I didn’t stop from 2014,” Ms. Rappa said. “I have continued to work in the county; working to address some of the issues. I am still listening, listening to those stories that I listened to in 2014, except they getting more desperate. The stories I heard and continue to hear from seniors and families, farmers and business owners, millennials and the single parent, each with their own unique problems, I knew more had to be done.”

Ms. Rappa plans to unveil in the upcoming months initiatives and programs that create common-sense solutions to a lack of medical resources, especially in mental health, a lack of jobs, a lack of affordable housing, and policies that promote social and economic justice.

Ms. Rappa also emphasized the need for bipartisan cooperation. Policy making, she says, should not be about “leaning right or leaning left, but what is best for people to move up or down in their lives.”

“While working in the community I have been working with Republicans who are also serving the community. I think we are all so tired of those labels; who is a conservative; who is a progressive; who is the liberal,” Ms. Rappa said. “I think people would be surprised to know that as a Democrat I am more conservative when it comes to fiscal matters. Yes, we need the dialogue. We need the balance. We teach our children that. But we as adults don’t seem to practice it. It’s not productive at all. It’s not helping the county. it is not helping the state and it’s certainly not helping the country.”

Ms. Rappa does not believe that bipartisanship begins or ends in Dover.

“Bipartisanship should be here in the streets of Georgetown and on the beaches of Long Neck and Oak Orchard,” said Ms. Rappa, who maintains that she can work alongside Republicans because she effectively does within the community. “And I know that I can work with them in Dover as well.”

She referred to the recent anti-poverty agenda launched by the Republican Senate Caucus.

“I may not agree with all that is presented in that plan, but it is a start of a dialogue that will benefit people of our state in the long run,” said Ms. Rappa.

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at grolfe@newszap.com

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