Social issues divide Delaware Senate GOP opponents (Scott Goss)

There was supposed to have been a debate of the two candidates on Aug. 28, but it didn’t take place. Instead, Gene Truono appeared at a candidates forum on Aug. 27 (headlined by the Carper-Harris debate, with a primarily Democratic audience) while Robert Arlett spoke at the Aug. 28 event. Too bad, as a debate might have been more enlightening than separate appearances.

This story characterizes Truono as “a pinstripe Republican, in the vein of former Gov. Pete duPont, who pursued fiscal conservatism rather than participating in the culture wars. Also, “Truono, like Democratic candidate Kerri Harris, is openly gay and married – a first for US Senate candidates in either political party in Delaware.”

For his part, Arlett “has a political ideology closer to Trump, whose 2016 Delaware campaign he chaired.” He’s “perhaps best known for taking on unions [by backing a failed “right to work” proposal] but also has been outspoken about his socially conservative views [including] his opposition to abortion and gay marriage.”

The candidates agree on some issues (support the GOP tax cut, pro 2nd amendment, pro-life, supportive of cutting regulatory red tape, etc.). However, Arlett’s views tend to be expressed in starker terms, e.g., he advocates repeal of the Affordable Care Act while Truono would replace the ACA with a system allowing greater state flexibility and permitting the sale of healthcare insurance policies across state lines. As Truono has put it, “I actually have a plan for healthcare, the economy and taxes,” whereas “my opponent only talks in broad terms in a way that touches the heart but does nothing to solve our problems.”

See also News Journal endorses Truono in the GOP Senate primary, editorial section (9/1/18): Starting from the premise that the best GOP hope for success in November is to field a candidate who comes across like Pete duPont or Mike Castle, this piece has no difficulty reaching the conclusion that “Gene Truono best fits that mold.” They go on to say that Truono is personally likable, articulate and quick on his feet – has a formidable business and managerial resume – knows the financial services industry (which is important to Delaware) inside and out – is commendably willing to explain his conservative views to those who may not agree, and supports civil discourse about policy differences. Hmm, “that sounds more like John McCain than Donald Trump.” While “we do not agree with Truono on everything,” such as his support of the GOP tax cut, “Delaware is better off when Republicans provide a credible opposition to Democrats.”

The comparison of Mr. Truno to John McCain seems like a stretch!
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