WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

Sussex County secession: Serious or just a fun debating topic?

One of the "regulars" at the conservative political blog, "Delaware Politics", raises the issue of Sussex County, seceding from the rest of Delaware.

Fascinating topic, but probably almost completely within the theoretical realm.


History: Since West Virginia became a state during the Civil War, no U.S. state has successfully emerged from parts of an already existing state. (Although some Western territories were carved out from bigger territories prior to statehood, just like the Canadians got a new territory in 1999 when the Eskimo/Inuit territory of Nunavut was carved from the much larger Northwest Territories.)

Size: Given Delaware's already diminutive size, does anyone really honestly think a state of Sussex would somehow jump ahead of the other longshots from bigger states? (Such as Northern Colorado, as discussed in that blog posting)

Politics and constitutional law: Any new state would require legislative approval of the affected states, plus the U.S. Congress. So you think the Delaware General Assembly would ever agree?

Practicality: Obviously, it would make much more geopolitical sense for Sussex to unite with aggrieved counties of Maryland's Lower Eastern Shore or even the complete Eastern Shore. But then, you'd need legislative approval from the respective legislatures in TWO state capitals. Fat chance!

Long-term demographics: Promoters of Washinton DC statehood have somtimes come up with schemes where Democratic-majority DC would achieve full statehood status by being paired with a territory that would be considered reliably Republican. Trouble is most U.S. territories don't meet those criteria. Then came a proposal to give DC at least one U.S. House seat by pairing it with the addition of a Congressional seat from Utah. That fizzled.

So on paper, wouldn't it make perfect sense to pair DC statehood with Sussex statehood? Problem: DC is apt to remain reliably Democratic, but one could argue Sussex County is not necessarily a lock to remain reliably Republican in perpetuity. Reason: New older residents moving into beach areas from the Washington suburbs and elsewhere, plus some young professionals, coupled with Hispanics. The clock is ticking...

(But as I suggested above, I regard this more as a fun theoretical exercise than something serious.)

Here's that post from Delaware Politics...


Posted at 2:41pm on August 21, 2013 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

Wed, Aug 21, 2013 5:10pm
Better that New Castle re-join PA. Let South of the canal float away. A few decades, it will mostly be underwater any way.

Wed, Aug 21, 2013 9:07pm
Isn't Delaware small enough already?

Wed, Aug 21, 2013 9:23pm
I think the grievances described in this story could apply to just about any state these days. Right off the bat I can think of our home state of Illinois and the increasing disconnect between the Chicago and St. Louis metro areas and the remaining people throughout the rest of the state.

Sadly, the big cities control everything just about everywhere and the rural folks are hung out to dry.

I also stated in a previous post a few months back that if states had a county-by-county electoral college system, Republicans would win almost every time.

Mike from Delaware
Wed, Aug 21, 2013 10:38pm
Mrpizza : good point.

Thu, Aug 22, 2013 4:52am
MikeFromDelaware has appointed himself judge of the quality of other people's posts. "Good point." "Well said." He doesn't know what he's talking about but he rates other people's posts. Not smart enough to see through what he hears from preachers and right-wing talk show hosts but he can tell what's a good point.

Thu, Aug 22, 2013 11:14am
For many decades, there were talks of New Castle County rejoining Penn, while Kent and Sussex would join with the Maryland Eastern Shore and the attached Virginia counties to form a new state called Delmarva.

It was not just talk. It was a serious idea in several circles.

Mike from Delaware
Thu, Aug 22, 2013 1:30pm
JimH: I remember that.

Maybe that would be a good thing for Kent and Sussex Counties to join up with this new "Delmarva" state; their taxes would probably drop [unless Salisbury's population is large enough that they'd have the same problem as they now have due to the Wilmington Metro Area] where NCC/Wilmington's population is far larger than the lower two counties and far more blue than those lower two counties. Interestingly, this past election Kent County went Blue [Dover's minority community has grown]. So maybe Kent would want to stay with NCC rather than Sussex and Eastern Shore MD/VA.

But for NCC, even being a "Blue County", our taxes here are a lot less than in PA, so why would we vote to become a part of the "Keystone State", and end up paying more taxes?

I could see a state of Delmarva that included the entire state of Delaware with Eastern Shore MD/VA. The population would be far more balanced, giving NCC less say [which would be why NCC wouldn't go for it, but would make Delaware a larger state with many more natural resources; maybe we'd have enough population to rate a second House seat in Congress and maybe 4 electorial votes in national elections. Could be interesting. One DEM and one GOP House member. Would make the state's elections more interesting as the GOP might actually have a chance to win the Governorship again, etc.

I wonder if those commercial TV stations in Salisbury would be allowed to move their transmitting towers to Dover so the entire state of Delmarva would be able to receive in-state commercial TV news? Would those stations start covering Wilmington and NCC more? Gee, Delmarva would have two commercial airports [at the present time both New Castle and Salisbury have air service].

Could be interesting on a number of fronts.

Thu, Aug 22, 2013 7:15pm
Hey Bill, if Mike is the self-appointed judge of other people's posts, then what's YOUR self-appointed position?

Mike from Delaware
Thu, Aug 22, 2013 9:55pm
Mrpizza: I haven't read any of Bill smith's post since the Weekend open forum. What's the point? That's why I haven't replied to any of his posts. He simply hates people like us, & frankly I've grown weary of his hateful posts & no matter how me, you, or anyone else here has tried to have an intelligent discussion with him as soon as you disagree with him, he starts hurling the hate speech. So rather than give him power to insult me & my beliefs, I just don't bother reading his posts.

It's a free country & he certainly is entitled to voice his opinions here just as you or I. But that doesn't mean I have to read & respond to his hatred. I just scroll by any post by Bill Smith & read everyone else's posts.

It's a lot less stressful that way. Have fun arguing with Bill Smith, better thee than me.

Fri, Aug 23, 2013 12:05am
MFD: I think he's running out of steam.

Fri, Aug 23, 2013 12:03pm
Upstate and Lower Delaware are definitely two different worlds existing in the same state but Delaware is just too small to divide... Colorado, on the other hand, is a different story.

Mike from Delaware
Fri, Aug 23, 2013 5:43pm
EarlGrey: a realtor a few years ago explained to me that she believes that eventually Lower Delaware will become Blue, because of all the out of staters from The Northeast & DC that find our homes & taxes far less expensive & choose to retire here. Most of those folks will be liberal. Do the math. Delaware will probably become even more blue than it is now. So their urge to leave us fine folks from NCC may be short lived.

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