Richardson launches re-election campaign in 21st Senatorial District

State Sen. Bryant Richardson, R-Seaford, speaks at the official launching of his re-election campaign in the 21st Senatorial District. At right holding the state of Delaware flag is Tom Darby.

SEAFORD – The race is officially on in the 21st Senatorial District.

Republican incumbent Sen. Bryant Richardson of Seaford formally launched his re-election campaign Monday – one week after Bob Wheatley, a Democrat from Laurel, filed as a candidate for the state senate seat.

“My commitment going forward is to honor God, respect life and preserve liberty. That’s my platform,” said Sen. Richardson before a gathering of General Assembly colleagues, city and county officials, family and supporters.

In fulfilling his 2014 campaign pledge, Sen. Richardson in the last four years has opposed every tax and fee increase that was proposed.

“What I have observed since I have been in office is, and you hear it walking down the hallways, ‘We’ve got to have more taxes. We’ve got to figure out a way to raise taxes,’” said Sen. Richardson. “It’s all about taxes. It’s all about, ‘We don’t have enough money.’ Well, we do have enough money. Over $4 billion to spend; I think that’s enough money. But some of the areas that we are spending it for, there is no accountability.”

“How long has Delaware been a government? Did we start yesterday?” Sen. Richardson said. “Why haven’t we figured out by now how to make sure that every taxpayer dollar we are spending is spent in the right way?”

In the 2014 election, Sen. Richardson topped Democratic incumbent Robert Venables Sr., who had served 26 years in the state senate.  That pivotal outcome was significant in that it took away the controlling super-majority Democrats previously held in the state senate.

“We needed one more in the senate to stop a lot of tax increases. He was the one we needed to stop the Democrat tax bills,” said State Sen. Gary Simpson, R-Milford. “This guy was the one. He had tremendous odds going against him.  Bob Venables was king of this area; another man of integrity and high moral standards. This guy (Richardson) was the one who had those qualities, plus he was not afraid to say ‘no.’ That’s what is lacking so much in politics today, the ability to say ‘no’ to higher taxes, to say ‘no’ when you see bills on the agenda that are just plain bad for us as citizens of this state, whether it is moral issues that are before us or issues of money.”

In Dover, Sen. Richardson is a member of the powerful Joint Finance Committee. He is also on committees for agriculture, elections and government affairs, senate finance and veterans’ affairs. He has also served on several special task forces.

At present, his specific efforts target abortion, women’s rights to have informed choice, and the drug epidemic.

Sen. Richardson said he planned to introduce on Tuesday the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would ban abortions after 20 weeks. Senate Bill 5 signed by Gov. John Carney last June keeps abortions legal in Delaware should the U.S. Supreme Court should overturn Roe v. Wade.

“I think the Governor – he’s catholic – he’s got to realize what is being done in the state of Delaware is wrong,” Sen. Richardson said. “That is something that Democrats voted for on Senate Bill 5.”

“The other thing that I hope to get at least started and hopefully through is for women to have an informed choice. When they see the sonograms, when they hear the heartbeat, 78 percent of the women decide to keep that child,” said Sen. Richardson. “As soon you can detect the heartbeat, usually after about six weeks you know that blood is pumping through that little teeny body. Blood type a lot of times is different from the blood type of the woman. It’s a unique human being … that’s in there and growing. I think women deserve the right to have the opportunity to see what’s inside to make that decision and not rely on abortionists who profit from her being there and spending about 10 minutes of time with her and saying, ‘OK, go in the backroom, we’ll take care of this for you.’”

To combat the drug epidemic, he is proposing a bill linked to education. The Botvin LifeSkills training program is a comprehensive, evidence-based program that provides adolescents and young teens with the confidence and skills necessary to successfully handle challenging situations.

“We have a drug epidemic. We lose over 300 people a year to overdoses. Some of the remedies they are coming up with, ‘Oh, well let’s have a safe place for them to shoot up.’ The insanity has got to end. Compare it to a forest fire. Would you fight that with a garden hose? The bill that I am coming up with and working on is the result of being on the Joint Finance Committee. They mentioned it from I think the Department of Health and Social Services and the Department of Education,” said Sen. Richardson. “Every dollar spent on prevention saves $25 on treatment. We’re spending tens of millions of dollars on treatment right now, for wasted, ruined lives when we could prevent it. If we put this program into the schools, we’ve spent a fraction of the money we are spending on drug treatment to keep children from making the wrong decisions about drugs.”

Sen. Richardson chose to publicly launch his campaign from the Seaford Riverwalk along the Nanticoke River in dedication to the late Phil Livingston, a well-known man, mentor, historian and educator who died in early March in a tragic accident at his riverside dock.

“I dedicate this campaign in memory of Phil Livingston and his family,” Sen. Richardson said.

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

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