On Tuesday, September 13, local Republican voters will be deciding which candidate they want to represent the 35th State House of Representative seat in the upcoming general election. The 35th District represents Sussex County including parts of Milford, Greenwood, Bridgeville and Georgetown. The two Republican candidates are Robert Mitchell and David Wilson.
Robert Mitchell is a lifelong Delawarean who grew up in Greenwood where his family currently lives. He is married almost 28 years to his wife, Michelle and together they have three children – Emily, Abbey, and Andrew. He has not sought public office before, but when his youngest went away to college last year he realized that he now had the time to “devote to making a difference for [his] district and State. Mitchell’s banking career started at 1st Omni Bank in Millsboro in their credit card division when he was 19. He then moved to consumer finance and then into mortgage banking for the last 18 years. Mitchell presently works for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. He is a current board member, previous treasurer, of Delmarva Christian High School; Associate member of Sussex County Association of Realtors; and an Associate member of the Sussex County Republican Women’s Club. He is a previous church council and current member of Gateway Fellowship and a previous board member of House of Hope and Nanticoke Little League.
1. Why are you running for the Delaware House of Representatives?
It is my desire to bring conservative fiscal responsibility to our State legislature. Our State is over $2Billion in debt and we just added another $200Million at the end of June.
2. What personal or professional background will assist you in performing the duties of State House of Representatives?
Having been in the banking world for 29 years, I understand the importance of balancing a budget. Every succesful family and business lives within a budget – yet our elected politicians seem to think that our State doesn’t have to. We have more than doubled our debt in 10 years. This is unsustainable and political malpractice in my opinion.
3. What statewide challenges do you believe are most significant and how will you assist in finding a solution ?
The biggest challenge facing Delaware is having our elected officials realize that the current fiscal path we are on is unsustainable. We must spend more wisely and do the things necessary to create organic economic growth. We have relied on Corporate Tax and Abandoned Property revenues that do not come from economic activity within our State – and we stand to lose up to 1/8th of our revenues. We must do what is necessary now to cut spending and generate new economic growth within Delaware. My experience in managing to budgets will help in identifying areas where we can save money and invest in those areas that create jobs.
4. What local challenges do you believe are most significant and how will you assist in finding a solution ?
Without a doubt, our local school districts need the freedom to help our children succeed. In the last 10 years our average State SAT scores have dropped from 1501 to below 1370. We are last in all 50 states, yet we are in the top 10 in spending per student. Throwing more money at the problem is not working – we must ensure that we are investing in solutions and that our graduates are prepared when they walk across the stage.
5. How will you work with local officials to meet the needs of residents within the district you represent ?
I believe that a government that is closest to the people is the most efficient. We should not be taking authority away from our local and county officials – we should be supporting them as they carry out their responsibilities. Localizing government whenever possible is the most efficient and effective way carry out the day to day responsibilities in our communities.
6. Give an example of something you would like to change in the next year if you are elected to the Delaware House of Representative.
We must realize that balancing our budget without debt is essential to our success. Politicians who say they would never raise taxes, but vote for debt are doing nothing but guaranteeing a tax increase tomorrow. The $2Billion in current debt represents a more than $2,000 tax increase for every person in our State. Yet our lawmakers keep piling more on every year. I propose that we start our legislative session with a proposed balanced budget with no debt. Let’s just see what it looks like – it’s been so long since we have even considered it! We have to change the fiscal thought process in Dover while we still can.
7. Why should voters choose you over your opponent on Tuesday, September 13 ?
Delaware needs new leadership. My experience in banking and budgets will help make sense of the changes that need to be made to our fiscal policies. My school board experience gives me insight into what works and what doesn’t. We have very difficult challenges facing us – and we need someone who is committed to face those challenges today – not just kick them down the road for someone else to solve them tomorrow. That’s what has been happening and we simply cannot afford to keep doing the same things over and over while expecting a different result.