Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long launches bid for Governor with a focus on Delaware’s working class

DAGSBORO, Del. – At her family farm in Sussex County, 47 ABC News got the chance to sit down with Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long who announced Tuesday that she’s running for Governor.

“For me, it’s about fighting for everyday Delawareans,” Lt. Governor Hall-Long emphasized. “Making sure that we have good paying jobs, the economic vitality that businesses want to come and thrive here in Delaware.”

Lt. Governor Hall-Long was born and raised in Sussex County, on her family’s farm in Dagsboro. That’s where we got the chance to sit down with her as she shared her story of what led her to a life of public service.

“A lot of people are not aware of the tragedies that have happened in my life that really formed me as a policy maker, and as a nurse,” Lt. Governor Hall-Long said. “When I was 11, my father was in a very tragic accident that left him in a wheelchair, without a job.”

Tragedy would then strike again – this time in the form of cancer.

“It was not long after, that my mother and my brother were diagnosed with cancer,” Lt. Governor Hall-Long said. “Now, a lot of Delawareans face challenge and struggles, but those laid a foundation that make me uniquely experienced, not only from a legislative experience, but that lived experience. As a nurse, I understand, and I understand the perspective of service and what we need to accomplish to make Delaware the place that people live, work, and raise a family.”

It was that foundation that she says fueled her fight to make a difference in Delaware, especially when it comes to the opioid epidemic.

“We created the first overdose system of care in this country in Delaware,” Lt. Governor Hall-Long stressed. “We created a Behavioral Health Consortium to really address the gaps and the breaks in the foundation in our state from cradle til grave around mental health and substance use.”

Lt. Governor Hall-Long championed the Behavioral Health Consortium in Delaware, a years-long, multi-faceted initiative that convenes community advocates, law enforcement, healthcare professionals and state leaders to tackle the  issue of mental and behavioral health head-on.

As part of the consortium, legislative efforts were launched to create the nation’s first overdose system of care along with mental health parity legislation that has advanced a holistic approach to care that emphasizes housing and food security and other social determinants of health.

It was through that work with the Behavioral Health Consortium that the Lt. Governor was able to spearhead several initiatives,  including helping to secure millions in funding to fight the opioid epidemic, launching a first of its kind pilot program to test drugs for fentanyl and xylazine, as well as leading countless grass roots efforts statewide to distribute the life-saving opioid reversal drug Narcan.

Lt. Governor Hall-Long tells us she’s ultimately running to be a champion for the working class Delawarean and to improve the quality of life for everyone.

“It’s to really bring the things I learned from this farming community to everyday Delawareans,” Lt. Governor Hall-Long said. “To fight to make sure they have good paying jobs, food on the table, houses that they can afford.”

Hall-Long previously served in the State House and State Senate before being elected Lieutenant Governor in 2016. She has worked as a nurse her entire career, including teaching nursing at the University of Delaware.

“As a nurse, mom and proud Delawarean, I’m running for Governor to make Delaware the best place to live, work and raise a family,” the Lt. Governor said in a statement following her announcement to run for Governor. “There’s work to do to improve access to health care, create good-paying jobs, protect our rights and strengthen our education system – and I’m up for the challenge, because when you give a nurse a job – that job gets done.”

When it comes to Southern Delaware, and all of Delaware for that matter, Lt. Governor Hall-Long says the people deserve a Governor that will fight for their needs.

“Sussex is unique, and Kent County, your viewing audience,” Lt. Governor Hall-Long said. “They understand that you need a leader that represents them, and understands them, and I am that leader, and I am prepared, ready, and honored.”

So far, Hall-Long is only set face New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer in the Delaware primary scheduled to take place September 3, 2024.

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