Rochester, Murphy face off again in Delaware House contest

DOVER, Del. (AP) — The only federal race on Delaware’s ballot this year is a rematch between incumbent Democrat Lisa Blunt Rochester and Republican Lee Murphy for the state’s lone U.S. House seat.

Blunt Rochester, a former state labor secretary, was elected to the House in 2016 and is seeking a fourth two-year term. She is the only woman to represent Delaware in Congress.

Murphy is an actor and former teacher, coach and Amtrak conductor.

Blunt Rochester easily defeated Murphy in 2020 and is the heavy favorite in this year’s race as well.

The last time Delaware voters sent a Republican to Washington was 2008. Delaware remains a deeply blue state, with roughly 363,000 registered Democrats almost equaling the combined total of roughly 210,000 registered Republicans and 171,000 unaffiliated voters.

Blunt Rochester’s campaign coffers also dwarf those of Murphy. She has raised more than $2.1 million during this election cycle, compared to less than $290,000 for Murphy. She had more than $1.7 million cash on hand at the end of August, while Murphy ended September with less than $30,000.

Murphy retired after 35 years in the railroad industry to pursue an acting career. He’s appeared in commercials, film and the Netflix series “House of Cards.” He is making his third run for Congress, having lost a GOP House primary in 2018. An advocate of domestic fossil fuel production, Murphy also supports gun rights, school choice, tougher border security, and improved access to drug treatment programs.

Blunt Rochester is a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Congressional Black Caucus and Congressional Progressive Caucus. According to the Congressional Record, she has sponsored 71 bills and resolutions during her three terms in the House, many aimed at improving or expanding access to health care, especially for women and minority groups.

The only measure sponsored by Blunt Rochester to become law is a resolution naming a Wilmington post office in honor of Mary Ann Shadd Cary, a 19th-century anti-slavery activist and publisher.

Randall Chase, The Associated Press