Newark Police Officer James Spadola to challenge McDowell for state Senate
A Newark police officer is running for the state Senate seat held by longtime Democratic lawmaker Harris McDowell.
James Spadola, 32, has filed as a Republican candidate for Delaware’s 1st Senate district and challenge McDowell (D-Wilmington North), who was first elected to the seat in 1976 and has held leadership positions like majority whip and majority leader.
In order to challenge a longtime incumbent, Spadola, who described himself as fiscally conservative but more liberal on social issues, said he’ll look to overcome a voter registration of more than two and a half Democrats to each Republican in the district.
“My campaign strategy is not going to be what was done yesterday because that won’t work,” he said. “I’ve got a very young energetic team and we’re going to bring that on the campaign trail.”
Should he be elected, Spadola said he hopes to be a lawmaker who brings new blood to the General Assembly and is “responsive” to constituents. He said taxes and the state’s minimum wage are major issues he’s concerned about.
“A lot of legislators want to go down and say â€˜I want to enact this law, this law, and this law.’ My first instinct is that I want to go down and play defense. Too much legislation is not a good thing either,” he said.
Spadola gained Internet fame after he and another police officer recorded a video of them offering hugs to passersby on on East Main Street in Newark. The clip went viral and has been viewed millions of times of the department’s Facebook page alone.
He also serves officer positions in the Delaware Avenue Community association and plays guitar, frequently performing acoustic sets in an acoustic band called James and Matt.