Newark – John Kowalko, the longtime state house representative from District 25, will face a challenger for the first time in many years.
Michael Nagorski, a Newark area businessman, filed last week to challenge the 10-year incumbent in the upcoming November election.
With the July filing deadline long past, it looked like Kowalko was going run unopposed for the third time since 2012. That all changed last week, when Michael Nagorski used the nomination provision, in the law, to get on the ballot.
First State Update asked Nagorski for his vision for the 25th and the State of Delaware.
My vision for Delaware consists of three key areas – health promotion, education and the economy. On health promotion, there has been significant investment in our playgrounds and trails. With so many families and athletes of all skill levels using them, one area that we can do better is to remove smoking from these areas. Our lungs will thank us, and every small effort we can opt for should be encouraged.
On education, I think Delaware is at a crossroads after so many referendums have narrow pass or fail margins. Parents and educators alike need to make tough choices to raise their own taxes for the benefit of the children in their lives. At the same time, many Delawareans feel we overspend and are not seeing the return in the classroom, with performance not quite keeping up with our neighboring states. We can’t simply increase taxes or optimize spending, we may need to look at both, because the solution must work for all Delawareans, not one constituency.
Lastly, the economy is a key area of focus, helping our small businesses thrive, and in particular, helping them grow their business and continue to call Delaware home. The same can be said for larger businesses, for those already located in Delaware and those looking to call it home, creating a business-friendly environment that supports their trajectory with prudent incentives. A major differentiator for Delaware is our people – we have a strong workforce that continues to attract businesses of all sizes, because they want Delawareans to join their company.
John Kowalko questioned Mr. Nagorski’s commitment to serving his district in a recent news article. In the article Kowalko was quick to point out that Mr. Nagorski’s used a provision in the law that allows political parties to extend the July filing deadline to September 1, using the nomination process.
Mr. Nagorski, in response said “After evaluating what it would take to run a successful campaign and serve the 25th, I saw how much opportunity there was to bring about change for Newark and Delaware. From the positive reactions I have heard thus far, residents are delighted to have a choice in November, and the conversations quickly moved past deadlines and towards how we can help each other.”
According to the State Department of Elections there are currently 27 state representatives running unopposed and two districts that do not have a candidate filed to date. The state senate race has 15 candidates running unopposed and 1 district were no candidate has filed.
First State Update also asked Nagorski, if he would encourage others to take advantage of the provision this cycle. Nagorski replied by saying “The provision allowed me to run, though as the calendar inches towards November, anyone, regardless of party, should act immediately.”
Nagorski went on to say “I think there are many races in Delaware that could benefit from having a choice between candidates. By offering Delawareans a choice at the polls, we are creating more dialogue instead of relying on the status quo.”
Nagorski moved to Delaware when he was 2, and after growing up in Christina School District, he opted to attend the Charter School of Wilmington where he graduated in 2004.
In 2008, Nagorski graduated from University of Delaware with a BS in Finance. “My degree allowed me to launch my career in consulting, focusing on sales strategy for a range of industries at MHI Global. While working, I also obtained two masters degrees, an MBA and an MS in Organizational Effectiveness, Development, and Change, said Nagorski.”
Nagorski is married to wife, Peggy, and he has one son, Teddy (2), and another son on the way.
When asked why he wanted to jump into politics Nagorski responded “For years I have been helping business achieve their strategies and grow their business. Politics is an opportunity to help Delaware achieve our own strategy, and I think I can help.”
He went on to say “I think John Kowalko is knowledgeable about the issues, and certainly wants to do what he thinks is right for the 25th. The problem is effectiveness in Dover, being able to work with peers to bring about change for Delaware, and listening to all voices in the 25th. He champions his ideas to the point that it pushes out other voices, making it difficult to find common ground, resolution, and a path forward.”
When asked about his political leanings, Nagorski added “My political leanings are rooted in ideas that benefit all people, as much as possible. Delawareans want an effective government, getting the most for our tax dollars.”.
In the recent news article Kowalko also said that if re-elected, two of his priorities would be attempting to subject UD to open – records laws and to fight for more regulations on LLCs registered in Delaware.
When asked about Kowalko’s priorities Nagorski said “Those two issues are very rooted in process, and Delawareans may not feel their impact on their day to day. As I listen to more Delawareans, it will inform me about what people are passionate about most, and how we can partner to resolve issues and make lasting change.’
Image Credits: Anthony Santoro of Diamond State Photography, State Of Delaware