Matthew Denn

Matt Denn
45th Attorney General of Delaware
Assumed office
January 6, 2015
Governor Jack Markell
John Carney (Elect)
Preceded by Beau Biden
25th Lieutenant Governor of Delaware
In office
January 20, 2009  January 6, 2015
Governor Jack Markell
Preceded by John Carney
Succeeded by Bethany Hall-Long (elect, 2017)
Insurance Commissioner of Delaware
In office
January 4, 2005  January 4, 2009
Governor Ruth Ann Minner
Preceded by Donna Williams
Succeeded by Karen Stewart
Personal details
Born (1966-02-09) February 9, 1966
Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Michele Denn
Alma mater University of California, Berkeley (BA)
Yale University (JD)

Matthew P. "Matt" Denn (born February 9, 1966) is an American lawyer and politician from New Castle County, Delaware. He became Attorney General of Delaware in January 2015. Denn previously served as the 25th Lieutenant Governor of Delaware from 2009 to 2015. He was the Insurance Commissioner of Delaware from 2005 to 2009.

Early life and family

Denn was born in Wilmington to Morton Denn, a Distinguished Professor of chemical engineering at the City College of New York, and Marilyn Denn. He grew up in suburban Hockessin and moved to Berkeley, California during high school. A graduate with honors and student body president at the University of California, Berkeley, he received his law degree from Yale Law School in 1991. He now lives with his wife, Michele, and twin children, Zachary and Adam.

Professional career

Returning to Delaware in 1991, Denn worked for two years with Delaware Volunteer Legal Services, providing pro bono legal services to the underserved and underrepresented.[1] Entering private practice, Denn became a partner with the law firm of Young, Conaway, Stargatt & Taylor in 2000. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Award from the Young Lawyers Section of the Delaware State Bar Association.

In 1998, Denn was appointed by Governor Tom Carper to serve as chairman of the Child Protection Accountability Commission,[1] formed following the death of a four year old whose abuse and neglect went undetected by a state investigation.[2] Under Denn's leadership, the commission lobbied to for caseload standards and career ladders for child protection workers, working to prevent inexperience and high turnover from compromising child safety.[3]

Political career

Denn served as Governor Ruth Ann Minner's legal counsel from 2001 through 2003, writing legislation including the Patient's Bill of Rights and the Emergency Health Powers Act.[1][4]

In 1998, Denn ran for a seat in the Delaware State Senate against Republican[5] incumbent Bob Connor. He lost that race but was elected State Insurance Commissioner in 2004, defeating Karen Weldin Stewart in the Democratic primary race, and later defeating Republican Party candidate, Dave Ennis, a member of Delaware General Assembly, in the general election. Denn served as Insurance Commissioner from January 4, 2005 until January 4, 2009.

Lieutenant governor

Denn was elected Lieutenant Governor of Delaware in 2008, winning 61 percent of the vote to defeat Republican opponent State Senator Charlie Copeland. Another Democratic candidate, Wilmington City Council President Ted Blunt, ended his campaign in spring 2008, allowing Denn to avoid a primary contest.[6] He took office in a ceremony just after midnight on January 20, 2009.[7] As Lieutenant Governor, Denn focused on issues affecting children.[8]

Attorney General

In 2014 Denn was the successful nominee for Attorney General. In the November general election he defeated Republican nominee Ted Kittila.[9]


Elections are held the first Tuesday after November 1. The Lieutenant Governor takes office the third Tuesday of January and has a four-year term.[10] The Insurance Commissioner takes office the first Tuesday in January and has a four-year term.[11]

Public Offices
Office Type Location Took Office Left Office notes
Insurance Commissioner Executive Dover January 4, 2005 January 6, 2009
Lieutenant Governor Executive Dover January 20, 2009 January 6, 2015
Attorney General Executive Dover January 6, 2015 Present
Election results
Year Office Election Subject Party Votes % Opponent Party Votes % Opponent Party Votes %
1996 State Senate General Matthew P. Denn Democratic 6,632 45.7% Robert T. Connor Republican 7,860 54.2%
2004 Insurance Commissioner Primary Matthew P. Denn Democratic 18,436 58% Karen Weldin Stewart Democratic 13,363 42%
2004 Insurance Commissioner General Matthew P. Denn Democratic 182,619 53% David H. Ennis Republican 163,027 47%
2008 Lieutenant Governor General Matthew P. Denn Democratic 236,741 61% Charles L. Copeland Republican 149,222 39% Peter Cullen Blue Enigma 1,681 0.5%
2012 Lieutenant Governor General Matthew P. Denn Democratic 238,957 61.6% Cheryl "Sher" Valenzuela Republican 143,978 37.1% Margaret McKeown Libertarian 5,206 1.3%
2014 Attorney General General Matthew P. Denn Democratic 121,410 52.8% Theodore A. Kittila Republican 90,257 39.2% Catherine Damavandi Green 10,599 4.6%


  1. 1 2 3 "Matt Denn for Delaware Attorney General". Matt Denn for Delaware Attorney General. Retrieved 2015-12-31.
  2. "MARTIN V. STATE, 99C-01-275-CHT (DEL.SUPR. 1-17-2001)". Superior Court of Delaware, New Castle County. 17 January 2001. Retrieved 31 December 2015.
  3. "Office of the Child Advocate of the State of Delaware". Retrieved 2015-12-31.
  4. "Official biography".
  5. "Delaware Grapevine". Retrieved 2015-12-31.
  6. Cohen, Celia (7 June 2008). "MATT DENN MOWS ON". Delaware Grapevine. Retrieved 31 December 2015.
  7. "YouTube video".
  8. "Official website".
  9. Parra, Esteban (November 5, 2014). "Denn takes race for Attorney General". The News Journal. Wilmington, DE.
  10. "Delaware Constitution".
  11. "Delaware Code".

Places with more information

Political offices
Preceded by
John Carney
Lieutenant Governor of Delaware
Title next held by
Bethany Hall-Long
Legal offices
Preceded by
Beau Biden
Attorney General of Delaware
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