Biden drops in on Delaware to vote in person for primaries

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — President Joe Biden made a quick jaunt to his home state on Tuesday evening to vote in Delaware’s primary, one of the last round of contests ahead of the November elections.

Biden is well known for taking any excuse to escape the White House for his family home, but most of his trips are during weekends. This time he and first lady Jill Biden were gone for only a few hours, which still required the usual assortment of security and motorcades, plus a flight on Air Force One.

The president didn’t say why he declined to cast a mail ballot, which is allowed in Delaware, a voting strategy that Democrats have emphasized to increase turnout.

Biden voted at the Laird Performing Arts Center at the Tatnall School before making a quick stop at his house in Wilmington. During the last election, when he was the Democratic presidential candidate, he cast an early ballot at the Carvel State Office Building in October 2020.

Presidents often look for opportunities to return to their home states to vote in person. In October 2020, Donald Trump voted early at his West Palm Beach, Florida, precinct before a full day of campaigning in key swing states for his failed reelection bid. Barack Obama did the same in Illinois during the 2014 midterms as he campaigned for the state’s incumbent governor and Democratic senator.

Rhode Island and New Hampshire also are holding primary contests on Tuesday.

The sole competitive statewide contest in heavily Democratic Delaware is for state auditor, where incumbent Kathleen McGuiness is running for reelection despite being convicted of conflict of interest and other misdemeanor charges in July. Under Delaware law, McGuiness — who is awaiting sentencing — was allowed to stay on the ballot.

The conviction, stemming from the hiring of McGuiness’s daughter in her office, made the auditor the first statewide elected official in Delaware’s history to be convicted of criminal charges while in office. She is being challenged by Lydia York, a lawyer who has the backing of the state’s Democratic Party and would be the first Black person in that role if elected.

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This story has been corrected to show that McGuiness is the first statewide elected official in Delaware’s history to be convicted of criminal charges while in office, not first ever convicted.