This is the third in a series of eight endorsements I’ll be making in the run-up to the primary election on Tuesday, Sept. 11.
There is a tough primary fight in the Hockessin/kinda-sorta-Newark region of the state. Two sitting House Republicans will be fighting for a spot on the general election ticket in Tuesday’s primary election. Longtime 22nd Rep. Joe Miro will be primaried by 25th Rep. Nick Manolakos, who was a victim of redistricting this past year. Manolakos and Miro were drawn into the same district and with neither willing to budge, they are faced with a primary.
I am supporting Nick Manolakos in this race for House. This is not a race I normally would have commented on, but the performance of Rep. Manolakos at a recent community forum — as well as my personal experiences with him — led me to believe he’s the stronger choice for this seat as opposed to Rep. Miro.
I first met Rep. Manolakos 13 years ago. He was the assistant dean at my high school in my senior year. We didn’t have too many run-ins. I was mostly a good kid who did obnoxious things as editor of the school paper. I remember him being a decisive and reliable leader in our school. We reconnected several years later when he decided to run for State House. I was writing a notorious blog covering Delaware politics and I immediately took an interest in his race back in 2006. He won a hard-fought primary and general election.
Rep. Manolakos is currently an administrator in Red Clay, but will soon be moving on to headmaster of the Odyssey Charter School of Wilmington. I have supported him in the past because he’s been a staunch ally of public education. Having been in our public schools for over 30 years, Rep. Manolakos knows the challenges some of our neediest public schools face and has been a fierce advocate for serving those needs.
Aside from that, Rep. Manolakos simply is more adept at handling simple things like a debate performance among an audience of only about a dozen. I understand debates may not always be the best judge of a candidate’s worthiness, but his performance at the recent Unitarian Universalist debates in Newark were nothing short of astonishing against opponent Rep. Miro. Miro had a difficult time answering some questions and become especially flustered with some — notably one on marriage equality. Rep. Manolakos answered the questions honestly and with little hesitation.
Considering my personal knowledge of Rep. Manolakos, his strong support of public education, and his ability to better articulate a message, I’m supporting him for 22nd District State Representative.