Delaware House of Representatives, 6th District

Why Debra is running for
Delaware's House of Representatives

I have always had a passion for service and have been an increasingly dedicated community volunteer over the past two decades. Some of my community responsibilities—working on the state’s Brownfields Advisory Committee, serving as president of the Brandywine School Board—have helped me realize just how much impact an informed and committed state official can have. I am prepared to be a legislator who will:

Spend wisely. Through my work on the Brandywine school district’s finance committee, which oversees an annual $140 million budget, I know firsthand what it means to handle the public’s money responsibly.

Understand the big picture. In my career as an environmental toxicologist, I have worked in private industry and consulted as a state regulator. That experience has taught me to see both sides of an issue and work to find common ground.

Add value. The state government has a huge impact on what happens at the local level, especially in education. Education represents one third of all state spending, yet I don’t believe we are getting all we can from our education dollars. Having worked directly with teachers and administrators, I understand how legislative constraints on spending can limit the districts’ ability to use funds as efficiently as possible. This understanding will be even more important for Delaware’s students as the state begins to disburse the $119 million federal Race to the Top grant.

Bring people together. During my time as president of the school board, we have conducted searches for and hired two school superintendents and closed two schools, which enabled us to put more money into the classrooms to educate students. These decisions were of intense interest to people throughout our community. Building consensus among many different stakeholders was key to accomplishing these aims so smoothly.

Because of my many years of service and volunteerism, I am recognized as a community leader and speak frequently with people throughout the 6th District by phone, through email, and in person. My “constituents” currently include not just the Brandywine School District’s 10,000 students and their families, but all the residents who pay the taxes that support our district schools.

I would welcome the opportunity to continue serving our community by putting my experience to use as your state representative.


Debra Heffernan