Updated: Murphy seeks congressional seat; Murray, Welch make AG announcement coming next month

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Lee Murphy has announced the third try for Delaware’s lone congressional seat.

Murphy, a former teacher, and retired Amtrak conductor announced his candidacy last week in Dover.

Murphy last ran against incumbent Lisa Blunt Rochester in 2020 after securing the Republican nomination. He lost to Blunt Rochester, who garnered nearly 58% of the vote.

Before that, he was bested in the primary by a perennial candidate Scott Walker. Walker, known for campaign signs on roadsides and even nailed to trees, has reportedly moved to South Carolina, where his signs reappeared.

Murphy will be  joined on the list of 2022 Republican hopefuls by  Julianne Murray, who had been teasing her candidacy on her Facebook page and former legislator and judge Charles Welch.

Welch of Dover is a retired common pleas judge who also served in the Delaware House. Welch made his announcement this week, according to media accounts. 

A release from her campaign on Monday  stated that  Murray will run for Attorney General in the Republican primary and will make the formal  announcement on June 16 outside the Wilmington Police Department headquarters.

Murray ran against incumbent Gov. John Carney in 2020. Carney gained 59.5% of votes cast to 38.6 for Murray.

Murray, who lives in Seaford, may have been the only gubernatorial candidate suing her opponent in 2020.

A lawyer, Murray, represented her husband as suing the Carney administration over a vacation rental ban during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic.

After the rental ban, Murray became prominent in the reopen Delaware movement that protested the state of emergency declared by Carney.

Republicans no longer hold any statewide offices, with Democrats holding an advantage in voter registration. 

The GOP has been unable to field a moderate candidate like Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, who is finishing his second term and enjoys high popularity ratings.

Recent GOP  candidates have relied on a conservative base largely centered in Sussex County.

Last year, Sussex U.S. Senate candidate Lauren Witzke made national news with comments that seemed to express relief over the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. In the past, she seemed to express support for  QAnon conspiracy and flat earth viewpoints. Witzke   attempted to distance herself from some of those statements in the Senate race.

Incumbent Chris Coons won out over Witzke  by a 59% to 38% figure. While Coons’ margin was decisive,  Witzke matched the vote totals from the more moderate Murray and Murphy.

Witzke is now a host on TruNews,  a far-right online site. At one point during President Trump’s impeachment, the site’s  founder said Jews were out to kill millions of Christians. The site was banned from YouTube.

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