Tom Kovach

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Tom Kovach
President of the New Castle County Council
Assumed office
January 2011
Preceded by Paul Clark
Member of the Delaware House of Representatives
from the 6th district
In office
January 2009 – January 2011
Preceded by Diana McWilliams
Succeeded by Debra Heffernan
Personal details
Born Thomas H. Kovach
(1969-05-27) May 27, 1969 (age 48)
Woodbury, New Jersey, U.S.
Political party Republican
Children 3
Alma mater University of Delaware, Newark
Rutgers University, Camden

Thomas H. "Tom" Kovach (born May 27, 1969), is a Delaware attorney and politician who is the New Castle County Council President.[1] A Republican, he ran for the United States House of Representatives seat for Delaware's At-large congressional district in 2012, and lost to incumbent John Carney

Early life[edit]

Kovach was born in Woodbury, New Jersey, but grew up in northern Delaware, where he became an Eagle Scout. He earned undergraduate degrees in chemical engineering and psychology from the University of Delaware in 1992 and went to work for the Environmental Protection Agency as an enforcement officer before receiving a law degree from Rutgers University five years later. He then went on to practice environmental law and commercial litigation, at one time chairing these positions in the Delaware State Bar Association.[1]

Public service[edit]

State representative[edit]

Immediately after the 2008 elections, Democrat Dianna Williams announced that she would be resigning her office. Governor Ruth Ann Minner announced a special election five days before Christmas to fill the seat.[2] Kovach won an upset victory and came into office with the 2008 class. He sat on the Education, Energy and Veterans Affairs Committees, among others. He sponsored legislation to make state government more transparent and also tried to move school board elections to coincide with general elections in order to save money and increase voter participation.[3][4] He lost reelection during the 2010 election by 400 votes.[5]

New Castle County President[edit]

Following the election of New Castle County Executive Chris Coons to the U.S. Senate, New Castle County President Paul Clark was elevated to fill the remainder of his term. This left a vacancy in the office of the presidency, and a special election was called for January 2011.[6] Kovach was chosen as the Republican candidate for this position, running against county councilman Tim Sheldon, a Democrat. He won the election with 57% of the vote, making him the first member of his party to win this office in 23 years. As president, Kovach has worked to promote transparency and decrease the size of county government.[7] During a State of the County address by New Castle County Executive Paul Clark in 2012, Kovach suggested more work be done to reduce the costs of county services.[8]

United States House of Representatives campaign[edit]

In October 2011 Kovach announced that he would run for U.S. Congress. He faced Rose Izzo in the Republican primary. Kovach defeated Izzo in the primary and faced Democratic freshman Representative John Carney[9] During a debate with Carney, Kovach criticized government regulations as harming jobs, saying, "Government needs to get out of the way." He opposed the Affordable Care Act (commonly called Obamacare) and criticized stimulus packages as failing to "address the fundamental problems" with the economy. He also supported a better energy policy and spending less overseas as means of bringing down budget deficits.[10] He went on to lose the election to Carney, receiving 33% of the vote.[5]

Election results[edit]

Election results
Year Office Election Subject Party Votes % Opponent Party Votes %
2008 State House 6th District Special Tom Kovach Republican 1,540 51.2% Michael Migliore Democrat 1,467 48.8%
2010 State House 6th District General Tom Kovach Republican 3,856 46.9% Debra Heffernan Democrat 4,263 51.9%
2011 New Castle County President Special Tom Kovach Republican 16,721 57.5% Tim Sheldon Democrat 12,139 41.7%
2012 Congress, Delaware At-large Primary Tom Kovach Republican 15,018 65.6% Rose Izzo Republican 7,888 34.4%
2012 Congress, Delaware At-large General Tom Kovach Republican 129,749 33% John C. Carney, Jr. Democrat 249,905 64%

Personal life[edit]

Kovach has three children. Kovach has also served as an assistant scoutmaster, and coaches youth soccer, and serves on the Board of Goodwill and the Boy Scouts.[1]


  1. ^ a b c "Thomas H. Kovach". The Washington Times. Retrieved 6 May 2013. 
  2. ^ "GOP names Tom Kovach to run in Special Election". Hockessin Community News. 25 November 2008. Retrieved 2 March 2013. 
  3. ^ "Biography for State Rep. Tom Kovach". Delaware State House of Representatives: Minority Caucus. Retrieved 2 May 2013. 
  4. ^ "HB 117 - School Board Elections - Key Vote". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 1 May 2013. 
  5. ^ a b Department of Elections (5 November 2010). "State of Delaware: General Election". State of Delaware (official website). Retrieved 2 May 2013. 
  6. ^ Fowser, Mark (13 January 2011). "Polls open for New Castle County special election". newsworks. Retrieved 1 May 2013. 
  7. ^ Matalch/Gerace (January 13, 2011). "Kovach easily wins County Council President's race". WDEL 1150 AM. Retrieved June 20, 2014. 
  8. ^ Fowser, Mark (January 10, 2012). "NCCo Executive Clark says county on “firm financial footing” in State of the County address". Delaware Public Media. Retrieved June 20, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Open seat makes NH governor’s race most watched; Rhode Island, Delaware also hold primaries". Associated Press. Associated Press. 11 September 2012. Retrieved 6 May 2013. 
  10. ^ Mace, Ben (October 16, 2012). "Citizens protest; Pires calls Carper corrupt, unfit at Delaware debates". The Dover Post. Dover, DE. Retrieved June 20, 2014.