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GOP’s Mike Ramone to file Monday to run for governor

Betsy PriceGovernment, Headlines

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State Rep. Mike Ramone, who plans to file to run for governor Monday, makes a point on the Delaware House floor. Photo courtesy of Delaware House Republicans

Rep. Mike Ramone plans to file Monday to run for governor of Delaware as a Republican.

Ramone, 62, who’s represented the Newark and Pike Creek area in the Delaware House of Representatives for 16 years, has an extensive list of platform issues, largely revolving around efficient government, taxes, education and the failure of the Democrats, who he says have controlled state government for 32 years.

“We’ve had 32 years of one party rule and you know that party owns tax increases that have gone up and up and up, the incredible increased cost of food and insurance for your car or your health insurance or your gas every time you walk,” he said Friday.

“That’s a byproduct of oversized government spending, overzealously spending, rather than taking a real strong look at your government like you would have businesses and know you’ve got to make each one as tight as possible.”

Ramone, who serves as House minority leader — the top Republican there, is expected to run for the Republican nomination against Julianne Murray, chair of the Delaware State Republican Party. 

She said via text Friday that she plans to announce her candidacy on May 8.

“I don’t really believe I’m running against anyone,” Ramone said. “I believe I’m running for Delawareans.”

He’s tired of toxicity and labeling out of hatred, he said, pointing to the national race for U.S. president. He’s sick of the candidates constantly throwing nasty barbs at each other instead of running on their records, strengths and ideas, he said.

“I’d rather campaign from, look, we’re all good people, Republicans and Democrats running,” he said. “We’re all trying to help the state. We just have maybe different ways of doing that.”

Mike Ramone GOP Delaware governor gubernatorial race

Rep. Mike Ramone, right, will announce Monday that he is running for governor. Photo courtesy of Delaware House Republicans

Ramone House seat

State law prohibits Ramone from running for both governor and his House District 21 seat.

Ramone said he planned to give that up because he’s building another home in Sussex County.

“I just wasn’t comfortable representing my district and not being in the district all the time,” he said. “I didn’t want people to question my ability to represent my district appropriately.”

He repeatedly won his seat in a district he calls the bluest of any represented by  a Republican. It has 4,000 registered Republicans, 5,000 registered independents and 8,000 registered Democrats among its 20,000 voters. 

His last race was close, though. He beat Democrat Frank Burns with 4,381 votes to 4,346, or 50.2%.

“I don’t think that had anything to do with politics or red or blue or whatever,” he said. “I think it had to do with the people who support me support me because I’m there for them when they need me regardless of if they’re in a party, if they aren’t registered, whatever. My job is to represent them.”

He believes he will offer a clear choice for votes.

“I’m intrigued and excited to go through the process of seeing if people are receptive to that type of a person who would be a governor, a person who likes helping people, a person who has been running businesses for a very long time, a person who enjoys and is fairly successful and good at problem solving.,” he said. “A person who likes to build relationships up as opposed to becoming attractive or successful by embracing hatred or ripping people down or labeling them.”

Mike Ramone GOP Delaware governor gubernatorial race

State Rep. Mike Ramone, right, has been an elected representative for 16 years. Photo courtesy of Delaware House Republicans

Ramone will spend Monday traveling the state and making announcements. He’ll start at 10 a.m. at the Circle in Georgetown, move to Dover and then to Wilmington, where he will officially file in the Caravel Office Building downtown.

The last Republican governor of Delaware was Mike Castle, who served from Jan. 15, 1985 – Dec. 31, 1992, taking over from fellow Republican Pete du Pont. Castle went on to become the state’s U.S. congressman.

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Ramone and his wife, Lisa, live in Newark. They’ve raised three children and have four grandchildren and another on the way. Ramone’s daughter, Brittany Ramone Gomez, ran for the state House last year, but lost to incumbent Paul Baumbach.

Ramone owns seven businesses, including a nonprofit swim team, a swim school, fitness centers, a property management company, a pool management company and a landscaping company.

He doesn’t run them, he said, but has people in place to do that, and he’s been selling off the properties that the company owned and managed as he prepares for whatever comes next.

“I don’t want to have to prioritize a business need over being a governor for the people in the state,” he said, “and if I’m not fortunate enough to get elected I go to plan B, and that’s retirement.”

 

 

 

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