County Executive Meyer enters race for governor

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New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer officially announced he will run for governor in 2024.

The announcement was no surprise, as Meyer had continued fund-raising efforts, even though he is term-limited and had been maintaining a heavy schedule of public events. County executives are limited to two consecutive terms but can run after sitting out an election.

Meyer, a Democrat, is likely to face a primary battle with Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long.

(See announcement video below).

In the video, Meyer said he would work to improve the state’s public education system, improve quality of life and ensure that Delaware keeps its pro-choice stance.

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Meyer survived a primary challenge in his second term race for County Executive from a candidate who received financial backing from an organized labor political action committee during difficult negotiations with the County Police union.

Meyer won his first term in a victory over two-time County Executive and former County Police Chief Tom Gordon, who was seeking a fourth term. Gordon served twice as County Executive and returned to win a third term.

Meyer worked to project a pro-business image as county executive. Gordon, by contrast, pushed through a complete Unified Development Plan that saddled the county with the perception of being hostile to development and business growth. Gordon later changed his stance as the county economy struggled with job losses at DuPont and other employers.

Meyer’s boldest move as County Executive came when he championed using Covid-19 funds to buy a New Castle-area hotel, now the Hope Center. The Hope Center houses homeless residents and provides employment counseling and other services.

The county received a windfall from Covid-19 federal funds that rewarded larger counties on the assumption that they operated their own health and social service agencies. In Delaware, those services are handled by the state. Meyer did turn over some of the $300 million to the state and counties.

Meyer is a former teacher and entrepreneur.

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