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Delaware gubernatorial election, 2008

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Title: Delaware gubernatorial election, 2008  
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Subject: Delaware lieutenant gubernatorial election, 2008, Elections in Delaware, Delaware elections, 2008, United States gubernatorial elections, 2008, Michael D. Protack
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Delaware gubernatorial election, 2008

Delaware gubernatorial election, 2008

November 4, 2008

Nominee Jack Markell William Swain Lee
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 266,861 126,662
Percentage 67.52% 32.05%

County Results

Governor before election

Ruth Ann Minner

Elected Governor

Jack Markell

The election for Governor of Delaware took place on November 4, 2008, coinciding with the United States presidential election. Democrat Jack Markell was elected governor, succeeding incumbent Ruth Ann Minner, also a Democrat, who was prevented from running for a third term.

As of 2008, Democrats had controlled the Delaware governorship for 16 years. In an upset, state Treasurer Jack Markell defeated Lieutenant Governor John Carney by 51 to 49% for the Democratic nomination on September 9. The Republican nominee was former state Superior Court Judge William Swain "Bill" Lee, defeating airline pilot Michael Protrack. Lee was the Republican nominee for Governor in 2004, and lost to Minner by a narrow margin.

The race got more attention due to the Vice Presidential candidacy of U.S. Senator Joe Biden. Since Biden, a senator, was elected to be Vice President, he needed to resign his Senate seat. The new Governor was then called upon to appoint someone to replace Biden in the Senate. Since Lee would naturally have been more inclined to select a Republican, his election could have caused a Republican pickup in the Senate by proxy. However, he was defeated by a wide margin on election day by Markell. Senator Biden resigned his seat in the United States Senate on January 15, 2009, and Governor Minner appointed Ted Kaufman to Biden's seat. Kaufman had previously served as Senator Biden's Chief of Staff during his tenure in the United States Senate.

Democratic primary



Democratic primary results[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Jack Markell 37,849 51.17%
Democratic John Carney 36,112 48.83%
Totals 73,961 100.00%

Republican primary



Republican primary results[2]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican William Swain Lee 20,826 71.88%
Republican Michael Protack 8,146 28.12%
Totals 28,972 100.00%

Blue Enigma Party

  • Jeffrey Brown, bartender and party founder



Source Date Jack Markell (D) Bill Lee (R)
Survey USA October 28, 2008 62% 27%
Rasmussen Reports October 10, 2008 62% 34%
West Chester University/WHYY October 9, 2008 61% 30%
Fairleigh Dickinson September 23, 2008 61% 27%
Survey USA September 23, 2008 64% 29%

General election

Delaware gubernatorial election, 2008[3]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Jack Markell 266,861 67.52% +16.65%
Republican William Swain Lee 126,662 32.05% -13.74%
Blue Enigma Jeffrey Brown 1,681 0.43%
Majority 140,199 35.48% +30.40%
Total votes 395,204 100.00%
Democratic hold Swing

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^

External links

  • Delaware Commissioner of Elections
  • Delaware Governor candidates at Project Vote Smart
  • Delaware Governor race from
  • Delaware Governor race from 2008 Race Tracker
  • Campaign contributions from Follow the Money
  • Official campaign websites
    • John Carney, Democratic candidate
    • Bill Lee, Republican candidate
    • Jack Markell, Democratic candidate

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