Residents of the 10th state Senate District in the Middletown area can cast their ballots Saturday, Feb. 25 for the seat that was vacated when Bethany Hall-Long was elected lieutenant governor.

The election will begin at 7 a.m. and run until 8 p.m. Absentee ballots must be received by the New Castle Department of Elections by noon Friday, Feb. 24. The department will accept ballots Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and on Friday from 8:30 a.m. to noon.

More than issues in the 10th District are riding on this election, since a win by either Republican John Marino or Democrat Stephanie Hansen would swing the balance of power in the Senate to that candidate’s party. Republicans have not held power in the Senate for 44 years.

On the other hand, a win by Libertarian Joseph Lanzendorfer would put the Senate seat count at 10 Democrats, 10 Republicans, and one Libertarian, who could end up being the swing vote on any legislation that could prove controversial between the two main parties.

Lanzendorfer, a credit card fraud detective, is running specifically to give voters a third option. He describes himself as socially liberal and fiscally conservative, and promises to reform Delaware’s marijuana laws, give teachers more power in their classrooms, and to cut taxes and regulations to make it easier to do business in Delaware. For more information visit joefordelaware.com.

Stephanie Hansen, an environmental attorney, said her priorities are creating jobs for the middle class, improving schools and making colleges more accessible, and ending the heroin epidemic in Delaware. Her goal for the latter will be to attract and build a mental health and addiction center within the 10th District. For more information visit hansenforsenate.org/issues.html.

John Marino, a retired New York Police officer turned Delaware business owner, runs in hopes giving his party power for the first time in 44 years, and ending “one-party rule.” His priority is creating more jobs, and he hopes to do this by improving schools along with cutting corporate taxes and reducing burdensome regulations. For more information, visit marinoforsenate.com/Issues.htm.