The balance of power in the U.S. Senate could tip the Republican’s way this November if the GOP is able to pick up at least six seats from the Democrats.

Republican candidates Carl Smink of Milton and Kevin Wade of New Castle hope to help change that balance. But first the two men will face off in Tuesday’s primary, with the winner taking on incumbent Democrat Chris Coons of Wilmington and Green Party candidate Andrew Groff of Wilmington in the Nov. 9 general election.

Q Why are you running for office?

SMINK I was called to do this in the same manner as our pastors and priests are called to work for the Lord.

WADE I love my country and state. Where else could someone like me, a poor kid from a Pennsylvania factory town come out of a steel mill, get a college education, become an engineer, build a business, have a wonderful family and a full dose of the American dream? I and my wife share a life that is built by our own hands. A lot of work? Yes. Yes, Mr. President we did build this. That American ladder of opportunity is being destroyed today. I intend to fix it. I’ll make sure the next American generation has their own fair chance.

Q How has your background and experience prepared you for this office?

SMINK Industrial College of the Armed Forces; graduate courses in environmental engineering, various OSHA courses and annual continuing education in engineering. Experience: 21 years on active duty in the USAF, which included operating and maintaining four separate air force bases, managing an Air Force Regional Civil Engineer office serving eight major installations and 12 smaller bases; negotiating with the British director of home services for base rents, aircraft fuel pipeline maintenance and stores, and labor charges; programming and planning Air Force facilities throughout Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War; participating in the allocation of resources in the reversion of facilities to Japanese military units on Okinawa; worked as an engineer in the civilian marketplace for 30-plus years managing teams of up to 40 engineers; and operating my own small engineering firm doing real property assessments and environmental site assessments.

WADE I started a business and have run it successfully for 30-plus years. How else could a U.S. senator learn what creates jobs, lots of jobs? It takes personal experience not political opinion. I’ve traveled and lived around the world in my work duties with people from every background on several continents. I get things done. I worked a long time in northern Mexico seeing the shocking violence there. I won’t allow it here in Delaware. The border must be sealed to protect our families. Real-world experience is never ever learned in Washington. You need to bring it with you.

Q What promise are you willing to make to voters if elected?

SMINK To read all proposed legislation myself. If there is insufficient time for legislator reading of proposed acts, they get an automatic “no.” To evaluate all proposed legislation according to the Constitution.

WADE I promise to secure the southern border. I’m near the border right now. I interviewed a rancher in detail late Saturday evening. A local sheriff witnessed the conversation. The rancher’s elementary-age daughter very recently found freshly minted paper money from Oman. This was at his sheep ranch just north of the border. The currency is new. I held it in my hands. It’s authentic. Whoever had it entered the U.S. recently and recently had financial contact in the Arab world. The money was found but not the person or persons carrying it. I will secure the southern border.