Democrats now have control of the Delaware state Senate.
Democrat Stephanie Hansen defeated Republican John Marino and Libertarian John Lanzendorfer in a special election Saturday that determined who will hold the Senate seat vacated by Democrat Bethany Hall-Long, who was elected lieutenant governor last year.
The vacancy left a 10-10 tie in the Senate and a chance for Republicans to take control of the chamber for the first time in more than 40 years, but Republican John Marino came up short.
Democrats raised about $1 million for the high-stakes election and enlisted former Vice President Joe Biden to campaign for Hansen.
Results posted online by the Delaware state elections commission showed Hansen with 7,109 votes, compared to 4,936 for Marino.
Charlie Copeland, the Chairman of the Delaware Republican Party, suggested that Democrats "changed Delaware’s campaign finance laws in the middle of this campaign so that they could go on to raise $1 million to buy the 10th Senate District seat."
Copeland released the following statement Saturday night on the results:
"I want to commend John Marino and his entire team for all that they've done over the last few weeks. It's been truly amazing to watch this grassroots effort come together to work for a common cause in an effort to make our state better.
"This evening Delaware citizens have been able to see just how politically bankrupt Delaware is. Delaware Democrats, administratively, changed Delaware’s campaign finance laws in the middle of this campaign so that they could go on to raise $1 million to buy the 10th Senate District seat. Delaware’s Democrats spent over $100 per vote in a District that they already had a 60-to-40 registration advantage. Whether you are a Republican or a Democrat you should be outraged that this kind of unethical behavior occurred. Once again, we are seeing what happens when one political party has absolute power....corruption."
Democrats have more than 16,000 registered voters in the district, compared to a little more than 10,000 for Republicans. More than 9,300 voters in the district are not affiliated with either major party.