Bennett Facing Possible DUI Charges After Lewes Arrest

by Michael Short on October 5, 2010

Rep. Brad Bennett (D-Dover) speaks to the press Tuesday at Legislative Hall to address a weekend arrest in Lewes.

Rep. Brad Bennett will continue his re-election campaign despite allegations of drunk driving.

The Dover Democrat held a press conference on Tuesday afternoon in Legislative Hall to address the charges after being stopped in Lewes and charged with drunk driving.

Bennett is the 32nd district representative, a seat once held by his father. Bennett will face Republican Beth Miller in November.

He provided a statement to reporters on Tuesday, saying he would take full responsibility for his actions and apologizing to voters after being stopped on Sunday, Oct. 2 by Lewes police. “Under advisement of my personal attorney, I cannot currently comment on the details of the situation. The past few months have been trying for both me and my family dealing with personal issues. I want to take this opportunity to sincerely apologize to my family for the pain they are going through.”

“I also want to apologize to the constituents of the 32nd District and ask that they understand that I am human like everyone else,” he said. “I understand this charge, and I expect to be treated the same as anyone else in this situation. . .I take full responsibility for my actions and will face any consequences that result from them.”

Bennett said that he intends to continue to campaign and that he hopes the charges will not overshadow years of  hard work and service to the community.

House Majority Leader Pete Schwartzkopf issued a statement Tuesday afternoon. “We are very disappointed in Rep. Bennett’s actions and we certainly do not condone his behavior. As elected officials, we should be held to a higher standard than the average citizen.”

He went on to say “Rep. Bennett needs to answer to this charge, and he will have his day in court. He is entitled to due process and we will let that judicial process proceed. If the charge is substantiated, the leadership in the House will look to see what is the appropriate action to take as a legislative body.”

UPDATE: A statement from Beth B. Miller, Bennett’s Republican opponent:

It is sad that Representative Bennett brought this on himself, his family and our citizens. If the allegations are true, my opponent has violated not only several laws but also basic standards of common decency. Nevertheless, my opponent’s behavior will not distract me from my positive campaign, which is about what I do, not what my opponent does. The voters in the 32nd District will decide on November 2 whether such behavior is acceptable.

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