O'Donnell, Coons look to take the high road

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - September 15, 2010

There's been a seismic shift for the Republican Party as voters reject the endorsed candidate and choose a fresh face from the far right.

The outsider is in and the insider is out.

Christine O'Donnell is the party's choice, sending career politician Mike Castle to the showers.

She did it with plenty of outside help, including a Sarah Palin endorsement and money from tea party activists around the country.

Her Democratic opponent says Delaware voters don't need help from outsiders.

"This really is a race that's about Delaware; it's about our needs, our concerns and our issues going forward, not about folks from other parts of the country who want to come and tell us what to do," Democratic Senate candidate Chris Coons said.

O'Donnell says she is hoping Palin will come to Delaware to campaign with her.

Coons has Vice President Biden and President Obama in his corner.

Coons has a double digit lead in the polls in the First State, which is heavily Democratic.

He says he will not go negative on O'Donnell, unlike Castle who hammered her with charges of financial troubles, unpaid student loans, an IRS lien, and personal use of campaign funds.

She says it backfired because none of it was true.

"These things are just baseless accusations. Yes, it took me 12 years to pay off my student loans, but I'm not a trust fund baby. The IRS lien was a computer error, the IRS admitted it was a computer error, and my opponent knew the truth, the documentation is up on the website proving it's all not true," ODonnell said.

Coons says he plans to run on the issues that matter to Delaware, regardless of the national attention this race is now getting.

"I am optimistic, but I take nothing for granted. I think Delawareans of all backgrounds, Republican, Independent, Democratic, really want to know whether there's somebody in this race who's got a concrete, positive plan for how to fix the real problems they're facing," Coons said.

It was all very polite and cordial on day one of the fall campaign.

We'll see how long it takes for the gloves to come off, if they do.

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