Assistance wanted for Delaware Stonewall PAC Endorsed Candidates

At its annual meeting held in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware Stonewall PAC elected its leadership and welcomed newly elected and seasoned elected State office holders.

Re-elected to the Board were Peter Schott as President, Mitch Crane, Political Vice-President, and Jeffrey Davis as Secretary.  The newly elected Treasurer is David Mangler. Scott Strickler and Vincent Ryan were elected to be At-Large members.

The members also heard from several elected officials including Kathy Jennings, Attorney General, Kathy McGuiness, State Auditor, State Senator Trey Paradee and State Representatives Sherry Dorsey Walker and Pete Schwartzkopf who is Speaker of the House.

Assistance wanted for Delaware Stonewall PAC Endorsed Candidates

 First, let me wish everyone a joyous and gay holiday season and best wishes for 2019.

Since we have restructured we are looking to expand our Board so if interested contact me at 302 827-2811, so we may discuss what role you might want to play on the Board.  We are particularly interested in making sure all constituencies are included.

1 – The annual meeting of the Delaware Stonewall PAC (Political Action Committee) will be held on Saturday, January 26, 2019, at All Saint’s Episcopal Church, 18 Olive Avenue, Rehoboth Beach, noon to 2 pm. We are expecting the newly elected endorsed members of the State Legislature to be there and we will discuss the legislative issues we think will be of importance to the LGBT community this coming legislative session as well as electing leadership.

In order to be a member of the PAC, you may sign up on line and pay $25(  The money raised by your membership and our annual fundraiser are almost exclusively used to support candidates and issues supportive of the Community.

2 – 2019 being the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising in GreenwichVillage our annual fund-raiser will be honoring that event.  We have a date and time already set, so put it in your calendar.  It will be held Saturday, June 8 at Mariachi’s Restaurant, 14 Wilmington Ave., Rehoboth Beach between 2 and 4 pm.

Peter Schott,

 President, Delaware Stonewall PAC

Delaware Stonewall PAC

We had a great many successes in the election on Tuesday.

Of the 37 candidates we endorsed 31 won. That is a remarkable 83.8%.

We are particularly pleased to have Laura Sturgeon join the Senate after defeating a long time opponent of LGBT legislation.

I also point out that 4 of the 6 candidates who were defeated live in a very red Sussex where not any of the Statewide candidates could garner a majority of votes, even here most of our candidates came close to winning.

Peter Schott,

Delaware Stonewall PAC

Only one week to go until Election Day, November 6, 2018.  It is vital that we get out the vote and support the candidates supported by the Delaware Stonewall PAC.

Here are the candidates we have endorsed:

US Senate                       Tom Carper

US House of Reps.          Lisa Blunt Rochester

Attorney General              Kathleen Jennings

Auditor                              Kathleen McGuiness

Treasurer                          Colleen Davis

Senate District 4               Laura Sturgeon
Senate District 6               David Baker
Senate District 10             Stephanie Hansen
Senate District 11             Bryan Townsend
Senate District 17             Trey Paradee

House District 6                Debra Heffernan
House District 8                Quinn Johnson
House District 9                Monique Johns
House District 10              Sean Matthews
House District 12              Krista Griffith
House District 14              Pete Schwartzkopf
House District 15              Valerie Longhurst
House District 19              Kimberly Williams
House District 20              John Bucchioni
House District 21              Mike Ramone
House District 22              Guillermina Gonzalez
House District 24              Ed Osienski
House District 25             John Kowalko
House District 26             John Viola
House District 31             Sean Lynn
House District 32             Andria Bennett
House District 36             Don Allen

Sussex Council District 4  Paulette Rappa

Assistance wanted for Delaware Stonewall PAC Endorsed Candidates

Exactly one month from today Delawareans will be going to the polls to elect its candidates. It is vital that we get LGBT supportive candidates elected.

We urge you to work in every way possible, making phone calls, contributing funds, committing to work Election Day to elect these Stonewall endorsed candidates.

US Senate                            Tom Carper

US House of Reps.            Lisa Blunt Rochester

Attorney General              Kathleen Jennings

Auditor                               Kathleen McGuiness

Treasurer                            Colleen Davis


Senate District 4              Laura Sturgeon

Senate District 6              David Baker

Senate District 10            Stephanie Hansen

Senate District 11            Bryan Townsend

Senate District 17            Trey Paradee


House District 6               Deborah Heffernan

House District 8               Quinn Johnson

House District 9               Monique Johns

House District 10             Sean Matthews

House District 12             Krista Griffith

House District 14             Pete Schwartzkopf

House District 15             Valerie Longhurst

House District 19             Kimberly Williams

House District 20             John Bucchioni

House District 21             Mike Ramone

House District 22             Guillermina Gonzalez

House District 24             Ed Osienski

House District 25             John Kowalko

House District 26             John Viola

House District 31             Sean Lynn

House District 32             Andria Bennett

House District 36             Don Allen


Sussex Council District 4        Paulette Rappa


Delaware Stonewall PAC

Delaware Stonewall PAC congratulates the winners of Thursday’s Primary elections.

We are particularly proud to say that about 2/3 of our endorsed candidates won including, Tom Carper for US Senator, Kathleen Jennings for Attorney General, and Kathy McGuiness as our Auditor of Accounts.

Based on questionnaire responses from most of the winning candidates, we believe we have strong support to advance the causes of the LGBT community going forward.

Delaware Stonewall PAC

Stonewall reminds you to vote Sept. 6

Delaware Stonewall PAC wants to remind you that there are quite a few competitive elections this year which will be resolved in the Democratic Primary. The Primary will be held Thursday, September 6, with polls open 7am to 8pm.

We continue to stand for candidates who are supportive of LGBT issues and urge you to vote for the following in the Primary.

When we vote we win.

For State Senate
District 2, Bobbie Cummings
District 3, Tizzie Lockman

For State Representative
District 1, Nnamda Chukwuocha
District 2, Stephanie Bolden
District 3, Sherry Dorsey Walker
District 5, Ajawavi J. Ajavon
District 7, Joseph Daigle
District 9, Debbie Harrington
District 12, Krista Griffith
District 16, Jakim Mohammed
District 17, Melissa Minor-Brown
District 22, Renee Taschner

For US Senate
Tom Carper

For Attorney General
Kathleen Jennings

For Auditor
Kathleen McGuiness

Delaware Stonewall PAC, a non-partisan political organization whose purpose is the promotion of the rights of LGBT Delawareans applauds Governor Carney and the Delaware Department of Education for its rejection of the most recent iteration of a Regulation originally introduced to protect LGBT students, but ending up as one that probably would have done more harm to children confronting their gender identity.

Numerous studies have shown that forcing a child to come out to parents who may not tolerate or understand their child’s personal identity, will cause depression, self-hatred, or sadly a life cut short. Nevertheless, the proposed regulation required parental notification of a child’s change of self-identified gender.
In our submitted comment, we proposed that the regulation allow a school-appointed professional to ascertain whether or not the desired change of status is genuine and well-founded, in cases where the child believed notification of a parent would be harmful to the child.

Stonewall is pleased that Governor Carney professes a strong belief that students need to be protected, and we are confident that he will work with the State Board of Education, the Attorney General’s office and the State Legislature to assure that the health and safety of students identifying as transgender are protected. We will continue our work to assure that this happens.

Delaware Stonewall PAC endorses candidates


Delaware Stonewall PAC, the state’s lone political organization dedicated to advocate and provide funding on behalf of the LGBT community to political candidates who have through actions or commitment supported issues of importance to the LGBT community, is proud to announce its latest series of endorsements.

For US Senate the PAC endorses Tom Carper, who has been supportive of our community for many years. Twenty years ago, while Governor, Senator Carper issued an Executive Order prohibiting discrimination in State government based on sexual orientation. He was at our very first Statewide event and has been with us since. We believe in having an experienced Senator in the US Senate who will fight to make sure all the gains made nationally will not be diminished by this very toxic Congress.

We also proudly endorse our lone Congressional Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester who has shown during her first term that she will stand tall for us.

For Delaware House of Representative seat Five we endorse Ajawavi Ajavon who in response to our questionnaire has given us much insight into her strong convictions in support of the LGBT community, and in the 3rd District, we are proud to endorse a strong progressive who has consistently supported us, Sherry Dorsey Walker.

In Sussex County, Paulette Rappa, who in her previous run has shown her support, gained our endorsement in an effort to break the hold of Republican men who currently control the County Council. She is running in District 4.

Some of these candidates are expected to face a primary challenge on Thursday, September 6. The General Election is Tuesday, November 6.

Peter Schott, President
Delaware Stonewall PAC

We urge our members to oppose the newest version of Delaware Department of Education Regulation 225 on transgender student protections and send comments to the Department at or mail to Tina Shockley, Department of Education, 401 Federal St., Suite 2, Dover, DE 19901.  The deadline for submission is July 6.

Delaware Stonewall is a political organization created to promote the rights of LGBT Delawareans. In addition to other laws passed since 2009, Stonewall was involved in the enactment of Gender Identity Protections that are a subject of the proposed amendments to DOE Regulation 225.

Delaware Stonewall appreciated the hard work and good intentions that led to the earlier proposed amendments to this regulation and recognize the same in the latest proposed amendment. Realizing that the DOE received over 1,000 comments, many from out of State, on the original proposed amendment, and assuming there will be a similarly high number of comments now, we will limit our comment to the specific areas affecting the rights and protection of students who desire to be identified as their personal gender identity.

Section 1.1 prohibits discrimination and exclusion of students based on that gender identity. However, proposed section 3.0 requires a student to agree to parental notification and parental assent before the request to have gender identity changes recognized. This section further states that a student’s request for this recognition will be denied without the student’s assent to parental notification. While the respect for the parental right to be informed and to assent to a major change at school for their child is understandable in an ideal world. This is not such a world, especially for children struggling with their realized gender identity and seeking to be recognized for who they really are…and to be the recipients of equal treatment and respect. For such children, this is not a world where all children have understanding parents who support the child’s desire to live at school recognized as a member of the gender they realize they are, no matter what was assigned at birth or what physical characteristic may say otherwise.

Requiring that child to “come out” to a parent may subject that child to emotional or physical abuse, or both. This abuse and the fear of such abuse force too many to suppress their identity for years, all too often resulting in a life of depression and self- hatred, or, sadly, a life cut short.

Delaware Stonewall wants to protect these children and recommends that this section be further amended to allow a student to reject parental notification and consent if they fear parental rejection or show other compelling reason and to create a mechanism where that child can make a case to a school-appointed professional who can ascertain the whether or not the desired change of status is genuine and well-founded.


Peter Schott, President

Download the PAC 225 statement PDF


At a packed house at Rigby’s Restaurant in Rehoboth Beach at its 15th annual Summer fundraiser, including Senate President Pro Tempore David McBride, House Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf, US Senator Tom Carper and US Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester, and about a dozen other elected officials, Delaware Stonewall PAC, an advocacy group for LGBT Delawarians, announced its endorsements of 31 candidates seeking office this calendar year.

Mitch Crane, the organization’s political Vice President indicated that “endorsements were based on their voting records or on their responses to questionnaires prepared by the organization.”

In addition, the organization honored retiring Representative Bryon Short for his long history of supporting and in some cases leading the charge in passing legislation supporting equality for all, and CAMP Rehoboth for its continuing advocacy work for the LGBT community.

Following is a list of endorsed candidates who as of now face no primary opposition.

State Senate candidates

Laura Sturgeon, Senate 4
David Baker, Senate 6
Stephanie Hansen, Senate 10
Bryan Townsend, Senate 11
Trey Paradee, Senate 17

State House of Representatives candidates

Stephanie Bolden, House 2
Helene Keeley, House 3
Debra Heffernan, House 6
Debbie Harrington, House 9
Krista Griffith, House 12
Pete Schwartzkopf, House 14
Valerie Longhurst, House 15
Melissa Minor-Brown, House 17
David Bentz, House 18
Kim Williams, House 19
John Bucchioni, House 20
Mike Ramone, House 21
Paul Baumbach, House 23
Ed Osienski, House 24
John Kowalko, House 25
John Viola, House 26
Sean Lynn, House 31
Don Allan, House 36

Senate Endorsed candidates facing a September 6 primary

Bobbie Cummings, Senate 2
Tizzie Lockman, Senate 3

House Endorsed candidates facing a September 6 primary

Joe Daigle, House 7
Jakim Mohammed, House 16
Renee Taschner, House 22

Delaware Stonewall PAC also endorsed some outstanding candidates who are running for Statewide offices, by endorsing Kathy Jennings for Attorney General and Kathy McGuiness for State Auditor, both of whom will face primary opponents. We also endorsed State Treasurer candidate, Colleen Davis, who has no primary opponent.

The General Election is November 6.

This is a letter sent to HRC by Peter Schott:

I read with a great deal of interest your 2016 Municipal Equality Index report which ranked Rehoboth Beach at a 62. This was a disappointing figure and I think it fails to consider several factors.

I do not believe smaller jurisdictions can be rated the same way as larger cities because as a smaller city we start with fewer financial resources and with a smaller population there are fewer people who need specialized services. What the report does not take into account is that Rehoboth Beach has had an active and vibrant LGBT community center (CAMP Rehoboth) for over a quarter of a century. That center provides annual sensitivity training to the police force. The report fails to take into account that the chief of police works directly with the community center and that the City Manager is an out lesbian. Despite only having seven members on our City Commission (City Council) we have consistently for a dozen years had openly gay members, even as many as two at a time.

I think that future reports might want to distinguish between larger cities and smaller ones, because otherwise cities such as Rehoboth Beach, which regularly gets ranked as one of the friendliest gay and lesbian destinations by travel services, will suffer.

Peter Schott
Rehoboth Beach, DE

The Diamond State sends just one representative to Congress, and we need to send our best. This year, the voters have a very competitive choice. Every election cycle, the Barbara Gittings Delaware Stonewall Democrats makes endorsements throughout the State, selecting candidates for office that have exhibited courage and actively advanced equality for the extended Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender community. In this race, we proudly endorse Bryan Townsend.

We have great respect for Blunt-Rochester’s and Barney’s accomplishments and candidacies. We even endorsed Barney for Treasurer in 2014 in recognition of his dedication to our cause, his intellect, and his principles. However, Townsend comes out ahead. For years, Townsend has consistently stood strongly and proudly with our community, campaigning unabashedly for our equality behind the scenes and on the streets. From his emotional pro-equality testimony on the Senate floor, to counseling struggling youth, Townsend is always there.

Importantly, he has demonstrated true partnership, working hard to respect and thoroughly understand the needs and challenges of our community. This is how he approaches all problems, and all communities, earning him respect up and down the State. Townsend has also proven himself on issues of economic inequality, opportunity, education, industry, and healthcare. These are especially important matters to us as well. For example, the LGBT community endures a higher rate of poverty than the general population due to stigmas, job /wage discrimination, and healthcare access

Given this difficult choice between excellent candidates, we must also consider who would be the most effective coalition builder and change maker for us and the State. The choice here is clear: Townsend is the bold advocate that we want and need to represent Delaware in Congress. We need to vote for the candidate who has the greatest experience addressing all of Delaware’s challenges and opportunities. We urge any voter concerned with equality for all communities to support Townsend for Congress. Likewise, we urge any voter concerned with Delaware’s future to choose the best, and support Townsend for Congress.

Joseph Daigle
President, Barbara Gittings Delaware Stonewall Democrats
Westwood Manor, Wilmington


Gov. Markell, Delaware

Stonewall Dems honor Del. governor

June 29, 2016 at 8:33 pm EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
posted in the Blade

Gov. Markell, Delaware

Gov. Jack Markell accepted the Hero Award last week. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

More than 20 Delaware elected officials and candidates for public office, including Gov. Jack Markell, joined 75 mostly LGBT Democrats in Rehoboth Beach on June 25 for the 13th annual summer fundraising event of the Barbara Gittings Delaware Stonewall Democrats.

Markell was one of three people honored by the organization for his longstanding support for LGBT equality as he nears completion of his second term as governor. Under a state term limits law he cannot run for a third term.

“It was a great event because it really gave an opportunity for us to reflect on the progress we’ve made in seven years,” Markell told the Washington Blade this week in an interview.

“It is hard to believe that seven years ago it was legal in Delaware to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation,” he said. “And not only did we change that, not only did we pass civil unions and then passed marriage equality and then we passed protection based on gender identity as well.”

Markell attributed his ability to help bring about those changes to the committed advocates associated with the Delaware Stonewall Democrats and other LGBT advocacy groups.

“And so although I’m the one who gets to take the very nice plaque home – the LGBT Hero Award – the truth is the real heroes are those in the community who keep fighting,” he said.

Peter Schott, the immediate past president of Delaware Stonewall Democrats, said the group’s annual summer fundraising event, held this year at Mariachi’s Restaurant in downtown Rehoboth, is typically attended by Democratic elected officials and Democratic candidates running for public office from all sections of the state, including Wilmington and Dover.

“This has always been a big statewide event,” he said.

Others who attended this year were U.S. Rep. John Carney (D-Del.), who is running for governor; State Rep. Pete Schwartzkopf, who serves as speaker of the Delaware State House and represents the Rehoboth Beach area; and Lisa Blunt Rochester, the state’s former Secretary of Labor who is one of three candidates running for Carney’s congressional seat.

Also attending were Sussex County Clerk of the Peace John Brady, who’s gay; and Delawarean and former Stonewall Democrats board member Anthony “Roddy” Flynn, who currently serves as executive director of the bipartisan LGBT Equality Caucus of the U.S. Congress in Washington.

Brady and Flynn were also recipients at the event of the organization’s LGBT Hero Award.

Schott said Stonewall Democrats members were especially appreciative of Brady, who is retiring this year. He is currently the only openly gay elected official in the state.

“Delaware and the nation have come a long way when it comes to LGBT rights, and we want to thank those who helped make it possible,” Schott said. “But we can’t rest on our laurels. Funds raised at this event will help elect LGBT-supportive candidates this fall.”

Markell told the Blade he’s supporting Carney to succeed him as governor.

“He’s somebody who gets it,” Markell said. “And I think he’ll be in a great position to help the state build on the progress that we’ve made over the last eight years.”

Following is the complete transcript of Markell’s interview with the Washington Blade, which took place Tuesday, June 28.

Washington Blade: What are your thoughts on how the Delaware Stonewall Democrats event went on June 25? Can you tell a little about what you said there?

Gov. Jack Markell: It was a great event because it really gave an opportunity for us to reflect on the progress we’ve made in seven years. It is hard to believe that seven years ago it was legal in Delaware to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. And not only did we change that, not only did we pass civil unions and then passed marriage equality — and then we passed protection based on gender identity as well.
And so we’ve made enormous progress in seven years and which is something we can all be proud of. But I think the other perhaps even more important point is that that progress was only possible because we had a group of very dedicated advocates.

And you know it’s fine for people like me to be willing to make these changes. But the truth is without advocates who lobby and who keep up the fight, these things don’t happen. And so although I’m the one who gets to take the very nice plaque home – the LGBT Hero Award – the truth is the real heroes are those in the community who keep fighting.

Blade: Do you see anything else that might be next? You will be governor through the end of this year, right?

Markell: In terms of law, I don’t know that we have a lot of changes still to make. But I think yeah it’s about being a welcoming and embracing community. And part of our thrust from the beginning – we’ve been so focused on the economy. And one of the most important things for building a strong economy is to be inclusive because the truth is the kinds of employers who we want to grow in Delaware care most about recruiting and keeping great talent. And great talent comes from many different backgrounds. And employers don’t care if their talent is white or black or Hispanic or Asian. They also don’t care if their talent is straight or gay.
And as a result, we need to make sure that we have a very nurturing, welcoming community and environment and set of laws and regulations so that everybody feels welcome here. That’s how you build a 21st Century economy. And I think in that way the fight is never over because you want to make sure that you continue to push the culture.

Blade: There were quite a number of state elected officials who attended the Stonewall Democrats event in addition to you. A number of Democratic candidates for public office attended as well as public office holders. Does that say something that so many public officials would go to an event by an LGBT Democratic organization?

Markell: You know I think that it does. And I think the truth is we’ve had a great crowd of elected officials and candidates at that event for years now. And I think the LGBT movement has more than arrived in Delaware. It is fully part and parcel of our Democratic Party. And for that matter, some on the other side as well. This was a Democratic event. It was the Stonewall 
Democrats. But the folks in the LGBT community – you can’t talk about our party without acknowledging the incredibly important and powerful role that many in the LGBT community play in our party.

Blade: You are term limited so you can’t run again for governor. But are you backing anyone to succeed you?

Markell: I am backing [U.S. Rep.] John Carney, who I think will be a great governor. He was at the event on Saturday. And he’s somebody who gets it. And I think he’ll be in a great position to help the state build on the progress that we’ve made over the last eight years.

Blade: Peter Schott, the immediate past president of the Stonewall Democrats, expressed concern that Republican State Sen. Ernesto Lopez, who represents the Rehoboth Beach area, voted against a proposed state constitutional amendment with non-discrimination language in it. Do you see that as having some chance of passing?

Markell: You know, because it’s a constitutional convention it has to pass by a certain majority of the General Assembly – I think in two consecutive General Assemblies. And since the governor is actually not a party to that I have just not paid as much attention to it. But I do think it’s a generational issue. And if it doesn’t pass this time it will pass because that’s just the nature of our state and our country becoming more accepting and more embracing of the LGBT community.

Our Club took its name from the Stonewall Inn where nearly half century ago, long hassled members of the LGBT community resisted the continual harassment by the New York City Police. Dedicating the Inn as a National Monument is a symbolic reminder of how far we have come as a community in that length of time, to a point where our National Government finally recognizes our worth as human beings. But we also are reminded that in not every corner of our Nation, and certainly in many parts of the world, we are still being denigrated and murdered. We thank our President and the National Park Service for the dedication, but we pledge that as a Club, we at Barbara Gittings Delaware Stonewall will continue the fight to attain full rights for all oppressed persons.