Delaware Public Media

Jennings resigns from New Castle Co. post to run for Attorney General

Jan 8, 2018

New Castle County Chief Administrative Officer Kathy Jennings is resigning, and intends to formally announce her candidacy for Delaware Attorney General in the coming weeks.

Attorney General Matt Denn announced last year he will not seek re-election.

Jennings, a Democrat, joins former Department of Justice Chief of Staff Tim Mullaney and Wilmington lawyer Thomas Neuberger in the race to replace him. Mullaney is also a Democrat while Neuberger is a Republican.

Jennings has more than 20 years of experience in the DOJ, including a tenure as state prosecutor. She has prosecuted hundreds of cases, including Steve Pennell, a serial killer who tortured and murdered five women in 1988. She says her time in that office was the best years of her professional life.

“You know, you get to help people—I don’t know how to say it more plainly,” said Jennings. “We see victims and family members at the worst times of their lives,”

Jennings also worked in a private practice with former Attorney General Charles Oberly.

She lists violent crime and the opioid crisis as two of the top issues facing Delaware’s next AG.

“Crime overall in the state of Delaware has been declining, but we have a violent crime problem. We have a gun crime problem,” said Jennings.

In the wake of Jennings’s resignation, New Castle County Human Resources Chief Vanessa Philips will serve as the county’s Chief Administrative Officer while the county conducts a search for its next CAO.