- Associated Press - Thursday, December 22, 2016

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Democrats have picked an environmental attorney and former New Castle County Council president as their candidate for a special election that will decide the balance of power in the state Senate.

Party officials said Thursday that Stephanie Hansen is their candidate to try to win the seat being vacated by Democrat Bethany Hall-Long, who was elected lieutenant governor in November.

Hansen will face businessman John Marino, who narrowly lost a 2014 Senate contest to Hall-Long.

If Marino wins the special election, Republicans will control the Senate for the first time in more than 40 years.

Hansen works for a Wilmington law firm closely tied to the Democratic party. She was the founder of the Bear Glasgow Council of Civic Organizations and served as county council president from 1997 to 2001.

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