As had been my tradition each election cycle to give my predictions on the forthcoming election, here they are. These are not endorsements.

With Presidential Candidate Joe Biden atop of the ballot in Delaware, with his popularity in New Castle Co, and the strong Democrat registration, in that county and the City of Wilmington, he will lead the state-wide offices, John Carney, Governor; Bethany Hall Long, Lt. Governor: Chris Coons, U.S. Senate; Lisa Rochester. U.S. Congress; and Trinidad Navaro, Insurance Commissioner to an overwhelming victory, as Delaware along other states will have record turn outs in voting.

The voting will be entirely different in the southern two counties, very much conservative, but a record turnout will not change the state-wide ticket.

LOCALLY: Representative District #35. incumbent Jesse Vanderwende vs challenger Darrynn. Incumbency has a great advantage as does name recognition. Republican Vanderewende has both. Winner in this contest goes to Vanderewende.

In the 36th district, Republican Bryan, former mayor of Milford is the incumbent, is challenged by Greg Fuller, former SC Clerk of the peace. Fuller has placed some nice TV ads, but Milford is a tough spot for Democrats to gain votes, once again a former Democrat stronghold. Good fight Greg, but no cigar unless real Democrats turn out for the presidential race, then he could ride a blue wave.

Incumbent Republican State Representatives Stephen Smyk of the 20th District, Ruth Briggs King of the 37th, another Republican seat, as the 38th with Ron Gray, 38th, Danny Short, 39th, 40th, Republican Tim Dukes, and Rick Collins all unopposed for another 2yr term.

State Senator Republican Brian Pettyjohn is uncontested.

The County Council races are quite different; Council District 1 finds Republican incumbent Mike Vincent having an opponent this time around. A new comer to politics Hunter Hastings has been working his way around the district. Vincent has been president of the County County Council for some time.

Again incumbency and name recognition would give the nod to Vincent. However their is some backlash in this race, I don’t think has gone far, is the position Vincent took in the closing of the 911 center in Seaford, supposedly favoring the center in Seaford. How deeply this issue is among Seaford residents I cannot find. Incumbency again should prevail as well as serving as president.

The 3rd Councilmatic district has been watched by many, pitting Mark Schaffer who won an upset victory over Republican I. G. Burton by a handful of votes.

Enter Pat Draqo a supporter of Burton who started a petition for Burton to run as a 3rd party candidate. When he refused she filed as a 3rd party write-in candidate.

She has raised over $80,000 for her campaign. Her TV ads clearly show voters how to do a write-in vote. Schaffer, former mayor of Smyrna, led super development/growth of that once sleepy town, now one of the largest south of the Chesapeake Canal, is a transplant as is Ms. Drago. I wouldn’t bet either way on this race, but if voters know how to use the write in, the race could go the way of Ms. Drago.

The news media has certainly kept us nail biting on the presidential race. Polling shows Biden in the lead, but last minute turnouts by Republicans in key battleground states show cutting those Biden majorities.

As Joe Biden has said to me many times, “Republicans my fight among each other, but on election day, they all come home.”

Trump pulled it off last time with his last minute barn storming of key states, and a big help from last minute false accusations from AG James Comely on emails from Hillary Clinton.

You’d think with the exception of a lot of Hunter Hastings and a few Democrat signs, with all the Republican signs on every corner, one coming into Delaware from the south would think Delaware was a Blue State. The leadership in Sussex County has failed by not filling their slots to give people a chance to voice their opinions.

You never know what can happen when you fill an empty seat against a shoo in opponent. Case in point in the 3rd Councilmatic district, a Democrat could now be a choice in a 3-way race, or disgruntled Republicans might have endorsed the Democrat.

Hope you have voted or will do so Tuesday.



Thanksgiving with the 4-day week-end makes for a chance for families far and wide to gather for this special holiday when we give thanks for what we have, to make memories, and the traditional turkey dinner.

But to residents on the Western Side of Sussex County none of the above brought more joy and energy than two traditional football games between Bridgeville and Delmar held in the morning, the Laurel-Seaford Thanksgiving Day football rivalry, until the state developed state-wide football tournaments in 1984 which moved the games to two weeks before Thanksgiving. The rivalry and enthusiasm between Laurel and Seaford has lessen since both Laurel/Seaford team have seen better days on the field. Their are barely enough fans to fill 1/3 of the bleachers. Delmar and Woodbridge are still competitive conference teams and their rivalry continues.

The Laurel traditional rivalry began in 1920; this year marks the 100th year of that competition. In 2001 the game was canceled because of racial threats which caused the competition to lose the status as the longest yearly rivalry in the state.

Although there were other rivalries on Thanksgiving, Bridgeville before consolidation and Delmar and a couple schools on the east side of the county, none were more competitive and drew larger crowds than the Laurel-Seaford contest where crowds of upward to 3000 plus attended the games mostly before either school built bleachers.

Daily newspapers in Maryland and Delaware had stories daily on the players; as sports editor of the former State Register I ran 3 full pages when newspaper pages were large and without any advertising on those pages about the game.

Delmar-Bridgeville played at 10:00 in the morning, then that crowd would move to the Laurel-Seaford game which started at 1:00.

The game was like a class reunion with former players and graduates from both communities coming from afar to attend the game.

The streak ended in 2001 as former Seaford coach Ben Sirman recalls, over “Fear” because of some racial incident in Bridgeville both schools agreed to cancel the game which caused the competition to lose the status as the longest yearly rivalry in the state.

People would bring peach baskets, and ladders so they could see over the standing room only crowd to see the competitive contest.

Seaford and Laurel actually began playing each other in 1920. Because of the limited number of schools having football teams, both schools played each other twice during a season from 1920-48 with the exception of 1922 and 1937.

Before the legendary George Schollenberger came to Laurel in 1930 Laurel held the edge in games, having an 11 game winning streak from 1923-28. In Schollenberger’s first season as head coach his team, not yet known as the Bulldogs, won 12-6.

The rivalry intensified when the Lions Clubs of the two communities made in 1946 what was to be known as the Lions Club Trophy that was given to the winning team with bragging rights until the next time the teams met.

The football was made of Walnut from a local tree in Laurel and the Nylon base holding the football from Seaford. The winning team is engraved on a plate attached to the nylon base.

During the era of Thanksgiving Day games the two teams played hard and tough till the final whistle blew. Regardless of your teams record going into the game, the Thanksgiving game was a new beginning. At stake was bragging rights and if you defeated your opponent, you had a winning season. Many former players may not recall their record that year, but they can give you a blow by blow description of the game and who won.

During the 1960’s the Jaycees of both communities presented a “Good Sportsmanship” trophy to a player from each team voted upon by the opposing players.

It was not an honor to win this award. No one wanted to be voted a ‘nice guy’ on this particular day. I never heard anyone say, “I won the good sportsmanship award.”

With the schedule change, and Seaford’s football program struggling, the Laurel-Delmar game has become more competitive with a trophy going to the winning team.

I had a tradition which began before I played football and continues to this day. Mom would cook her turkey early in the morning although dinner was not until I returned from the game.

My Uncle who was an alumni of Laurel but lived in Wilmington, would come down the night before with those famous fresh Italian baked rolls. On would go the turkey complete with mom’s home baked dressing, and a couple slabs of cranberry sauce.

I thought I had died and gone to heaven and I was ready for football. Now the sandwich comes between two slices of bread and the day after Thanksgiving. Not the same as the good ole days, but I’ll take it.

The two coaches had a special play or two reserved for that day, mostly by Blue Jay coach Bob Dowd, Laurel usually stuck to their basic plays mostly on the ground. Dowd was the first coach we played against I saw to have special teams; Schollenberger played his first team until they dropped.

One year I was announcing the Thanksgiving Day game, and out of no where Laurel played a reverse, first time I had seen it that year. The play was executed perfectly with the final hand-off given to Bulldog Ron Williams, (later an editor for the News Journal) as he circled to the opposite side of the field all alone.

Shocked and surprised, I blurted out, heard throughout the field, “it’s a reverse.” Seaford’s players stopped in their tracks, reversed course, found Williams and smothered him. Schollenberger and the Laurel bench looked up at me. What I said to myself I can’t print nor probably what Schollenberger was thinking. Needless to say “I retired” from announcing. Williams always pointed out I ruined his chance for fame.

Before the Thanksgiving Day game was played Schollenberger and Dowd would meet with the referees assigned to the game and urge the referees not to throw the flag so much and allow the kids to play. The games were clean, rough, especially if you were at the bottom of the pile and had the ball out of the view of the officials.

Seaford has won 67 games, Laurel 50 with 10 ties; two 0-0 scores in 1932-33 and 38; Highest score Seaford 1981, 82-0, Laurel, 2015, 70-0; oddest scores 2-0, 3-0 in 1931 and ’92 both won by Seaford; Each team has had 16 game winning streaks, Seaford 1975-1990, Laurel 2004-2019.

For years until after I graduated I figured Schollenberger and Dowd were arch rivals as much as their players were. I went to interview Schollenberger for a story; he was working in his garden, a favorite pastime of his, and along side of him was coach Dowd.

Dowd’s wife Jean told me later her husband and Schollenberger were the best of friends visiting each other often. Both retired by then, their competition now was to see who could grow the best garden she said. Thus the rivalry continued!

Enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner; and try my sandwich. Have a good one and don’t forget that prayer of thanks before you eat.

Frank Calio is a former Delaware State Election Commissioner and resides in Laurel.


The Laurel Bulldogs gained a season opening win Friday, defeating Lake Forest 27-18, overcoming a Lake 6-0 lead close to the half before Bulldog Kaden Shockley let his team down the field and tied the game with just under two minutes before the half.

The Bulldogs would go on to outscore lake 21-12 in the second half.

Laurel (1-0) will travel to Indian River Friday.


The City of Seaford jumped into the 21st century by dropping the City’s registration book for municipal elections and accepting to abide by the voter registration book of the state of Delaware.

Seaford, like many SC communities use a local registration for elections which has frustrated residents. Many voters go to the polls thinking if they are registered by their county to vote, they should be allowed to vote in local elections.

This is not the case in most SC municipalities. Many incumbents like keeping the registration low, less votes, better chance of winning.

While I was Delaware’s Election Commissioner their was controversary over voter registrations, and how elections were run.

I had a bill passed reforming municipal elections by incorporating the state code with the municipals, so all elections would be operated the same as the states.

The counties agreed with one exception: they have the option of using their own registration lists. Knowing this was the only way my bill would pass, I gave up that slice of cake and took the rest.

At least their would be a greater consistency for elections than before.

Congratulations to Seaford. Hopefully more municipals will follow suit.


I’ve seen some horrifying post of FB but none has shaken me more than a post I read from a Biden supporter from Ohio this week.

She posted having a Biden sign in her yard she was finding notes posted on her sign from passer byes, thanking her for having the courage to post a Biden sign.

What followed was an explanation of the letter saying others were afraid to have signs, bumper stickers, flags, etc. on their homes or vehicles for fear of repercussions from Trump supporters.

Then came a continued flow, I counted 47 in a matter of minutes from posts all over the country giving their horror stories about posting Biden/Harris signs.

One lady wrote her husband and she like to take their travel trailers on week-end jaunts preferably in insolated areas because of COVID. They won’t even put Biden bumper stickers on their trailer for fear of being in an insolated area and coming upon Trump supporters.

Another told a story about almost being run off the road, being given a finger, and cursed for having a Biden sticker on her car.

Others afraid to have any Biden material feared for their life and property. Most lived in areas of Trump supporters.

Then followed news of the attempted kidnapping of the Michigan governor and attempt to storm the capital.

What have we become as a nation under this so called law and order president who won’t condemn while supremacy, Nazi or KKK groups and tells to a national televised audience for a whited supremacy group to stand by and stand down.

I guess Trump supporters have taken his word during a rally a few years back when he told his cult followers he would pay the fine for their violent violations.

This FB post, the responses and the Michigan event have shaken my confidence in the direction this country is heading. No wonder gun sales are at record highs, people are buying for protection.

Is the First amendment only for Trump followers, aren’t all of us in this country entitled to the freedom of speech?

Joe Biden is a decent man, sensible, understanding, one who has lived the life as a middle class American and even with his wealth still knows the needs of the working class.

He will if given a majority in both Houses, to do his best with his true Christian values, bring unity and sanity back to this great country.

I have known this man for 50 plus years. He’s been the same down to earth man for all those years, a very compassionate person.


Covid-19 has created a crisis throughout the world. This crisis has produced a test of leadership. With no good options to combat a novel pathogen, countries were forced to make hard choices about how to respond. Here in the United States, our leaders have failed that test. They have taken a crisis and turned it into a tragedy.

The magnitude of this failure is astonishing. According to the Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering,1 the United States leads the world in Covid-19 cases and in deaths due to the disease, far exceeding the numbers in much larger countries, such as China. The death rate in this country is more than double that of Canada, exceeds that of Japan, a country with a vulnerable and elderly population, by a factor of almost 50, and even dwarfs the rates in lower-middle-income countries, such as Vietnam, by a factor of almost 2000. Covid-19 is an overwhelming challenge, and many factors contribute to its severity. But the one we can control is how we behave. And in the United States we have consistently behaved poorly.

We know that we could have done better. China, faced with the first outbreak, chose strict quarantine and isolation after an initial delay. These measures were severe but effective, essentially eliminating transmission at the point where the outbreak began and reducing the death rate to a reported 3 per million, as compared with more than 500 per million in the United States. Countries that had far more exchange with China, such as Singapore and South Korea, began intensive testing early, along with aggressive contact tracing and appropriate isolation, and have had relatively small outbreaks. And New Zealand has used these same measures, together with its geographic advantages, to come close to eliminating the disease, something that has allowed that country to limit the time of closure and to largely reopen society to a prepandemic level. In general, not only have many democracies done better than the United States, but they have also outperformed us by orders of magnitude.

Why has the United States handled this pandemic so badly? We have failed at almost every step. We had ample warning, but when the disease first arrived, we were incapable of testing effectively and couldn’t provide even the most basic personal protective equipment to health care workers and the general public. And we continue to be way behind the curve in testing. While the absolute numbers of tests have increased substantially, the more useful metric is the number of tests performed per infected person, a rate that puts us far down the international list, below such places as Kazakhstan, Zimbabwe, and Ethiopia, countries that cannot boast the biomedical infrastructure or the manufacturing capacity that we have.2 Moreover, a lack of emphasis on developing capacity has meant that U.S. test results are often long delayed, rendering the results useless for disease control.

Although we tend to focus on technology, most of the interventions that have large effects are not complicated. The United States instituted quarantine and isolation measures late and inconsistently, often without any effort to enforce them, after the disease had spread substantially in many communities. Our rules on social distancing have in many places been lackadaisical at best, with loosening of restrictions long before adequate disease control had been achieved. And in much of the country, people simply don’t wear masks, largely because our leaders have stated outright that masks are political tools rather than effective infection control measures. The government has appropriately invested heavily in vaccine development, but its rhetoric has politicized the development process and led to growing public distrust.

The United States came into this crisis with enormous advantages. Along with tremendous manufacturing capacity, we have a biomedical research system that is the envy of the world. We have enormous expertise in public health, health policy, and basic biology and have consistently been able to turn that expertise into new therapies and preventive measures. And much of that national expertise resides in government institutions. Yet our leaders have largely chosen to ignore and even denigrate experts.

The response of our nation’s leaders has been consistently inadequate. The federal government has largely abandoned disease control to the states. Governors have varied in their responses, not so much by party as by competence. But whatever their competence, governors do not have the tools that Washington controls. Instead of using those tools, the federal government has undermined them. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which was the world’s leading disease response organization, has been eviscerated and has suffered dramatic testing and policy failures. The National Institutes of Health have played a key role in vaccine development but have been excluded from much crucial government decision making. And the Food and Drug Administration has been shamefully politicized,3 appearing to respond to pressure from the administration rather than scientific evidence. Our current leaders have undercut trust in science and in government,4 causing damage that will certainly outlast them. Instead of relying on expertise, the administration has turned to uninformed “opinion leaders” and charlatans who obscure the truth and facilitate the promulgation of outright lies.

Let’s be clear about the cost of not taking even simple measures. An outbreak that has disproportionately affected communities of color has exacerbated the tensions associated with inequality. Many of our children are missing school at critical times in their social and intellectual development. The hard work of health care professionals, who have put their lives on the line, has not been used wisely. Our current leadership takes pride in the economy, but while most of the world has opened up to some extent, the United States still suffers from disease rates that have prevented many businesses from reopening, with a resultant loss of hundreds of billions of dollars and millions of jobs. And more than 200,000 Americans have died. Some deaths from Covid-19 were unavoidable. But, although it is impossible to project the precise number of additional American lives lost because of weak and inappropriate government policies, it is at least in the tens of thousands in a pandemic that has already killed more Americans than any conflict since World War II.

Anyone else who recklessly squandered lives and money in this way would be suffering legal consequences. Our leaders have largely claimed immunity for their actions. But this election gives us the power to render judgment. Reasonable people will certainly disagree about the many political positions taken by candidates. But truth is neither liberal nor conservative. When it comes to the response to the largest public health crisis of our time, our current political leaders have demonstrated that they are dangerously incompetent. We should not abet them and enable the deaths of thousands more Americans by allowing them to keep their jobs.

Disclosure forms provided by the authors are available with the full text of this editorial at


Many were upset when the NY Times printed stories revealing Trumps long awaited tax returns noting the $750 he paid in taxes and revealing the large amount of loans due in the next few years.

The stories revealed Trump isn’t the wealthy person he possessed nor the smartest businessman.

However, with the exception of questionable business expenses he reported, Trumps tax lawyers probably legally used every tax loophole to prepare his taxes.

You see, the tax code is prepared for the wealthy. Laws are written by attorneys in Congress and you can bet they look out for their own.

Rich Americans and a small army of sophisticated advisers have perfected the art of tax avoidance: wealthy families set up complex trusts, private pensions, and life insurance schemes to lower their taxes. Silicon Valley startups values in the billions of dollars from tax breaks meant for small businesses. Multinational corporations shifts profits to overseas tax havens. Add it up and, according to one estimate, billionaires now pay lower overall tax rates than working-class Americans hovering above the poverty line.

Congress has helped, by failing to fill obvious loopholes and opening new ones. Lawmakers have also starved the IRS that polices the rules. From 2010 to 2019, the number of IRS revenue agents dropped, from 13,879 to 8,526 even as the economy they must patrol kept growing in size and sophistication.

IRS agents can’t spend time fighting guys like Trump, because with their army of tax attorneys they keep agents tied up with appeals, so they focus on the little guy who can’t afford legal help and is glad to pay additional tax to avoid jail time.

In May a government watchdog, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, four 879,415 high-income Americans didn’t file returns from 2014-2016. The agency then barely tried to collect, with 326,579 cases never entered into its enforcement system, and 42,601 cases closed without any work done. Overall, the IRS’s audit rate has plunged to barely above zero.

Of all income groups, Americans earning $10 million or more have the lowest chance of facing an IRS examination.

Joe Biden has promised to push in the opposite direction. He’s proposed higher rates on corporations and rich individuals earing $400,000 or more, limiting deductions for high earners, and almost doubling the wealthy’s rate on capital gains and dividends so it marches rates on ordinary income.


Former Republican Attorney Jane Brady, (1995-2005), the first woman elected to that position, Delaware Superior Court Judge, (2005-2017), now Delaware Republican Chair Lady and a friend of mine probably knows more about Delaware law than most.

So I must assume when she submitted the law suit in behalf of her party challenging a law allowing vote-by-mail this year due to the pandemic, she knew the challenge would be Dead On Arrival. (DOA)

The suit disagreed with the policy decision of the Democrat Legislature which passed the legislation in the face of the CORONAVIRUSepidemic.

Vice Chancellor Sam Glasscock wrote in his opinion. “The legislature, in the face of an epidemic of airborne disease and in light of the health emergency declare by the Governor, has made a determination that vote-by-mail is necessary for the continued operation of governmental functions, and that it would be impracticable to address this problem other than by otherwise-extraconstitutional means. These findings are not clearly erroneous. Therefore, the Plaintiffs’ Motion for Summary Judgment must be denied.

The legislature created vote-by-mail in June, expanding the absentee ballot process in response to concerns about COVID exposer should people be forced to vote in person. The bill passed the House on party lines, though it saw some GOP support in the Senate.

The Republican argument noted state government has continues to function despite COVID and cited the specific reasons given in the state constitution to cast an absentee ballot.

Let us move on.


After the recent primaries, Delaware Democrats must be wondering if the successful results of Progressive Democrats, whether they have a similar wave of the Delaware Republican Tea Party that has overtaken the old line conservatives and caused a split in the party from below the canal.

Primary night was a big night for progressive activists hoping to push the Democratic Party further to the left, as they saw four upset victories that could help advance their agenda. With the upset of President Pro Tempore David McBride, the second longest serving Democrat who played a pivotal role in holding back gun legislation despite a majority of his fellow Democrats supporting new legislation, it looks more likely gun control legislation and other issues like marijuana and criminal justice reform will take front and center in the upcoming session if these progressives are elected.

Three other Democrat incumbents were knocked off in the primary: Representatives John Viola, Earl Jaques and first term Ray Seigfried were victims of the Progressive group.

The demographics could change as well, with the possibility of the first Muslim and the first gay legislator to serve in the General assembly

Republicans are still reeling from the Tea Party primary win with the loss of heavily favored Mike Castle to Christine O’Donnell who charmed Sussex Democrats who gave her 15,000 votes to pull the upset. Democrat Chris Coons, defeated O’Donnell by 17 percentage points.

She was labeled as “The Witch” because of some of her beliefs. Coons is seeking re-election against Republican Lauren Witzke who has already made enemies with her FB page negative to former Supreme Court Justice Ruth Ginsburg.