Matt Denn was elected as the 45th Attorney General of Delaware in November of 2014, and was sworn into office on January 6, 2015. Prior to this election Matt was serving his second term as Delaware’s Lieutenant Governor. Matt has been elected to serve the people of Delaware since 2005, working to make our state safer, to protect consumers and taxpayers, to advocate for Delaware’s children, especially those with disabilities, to make Delaware a better place to own and grow a business, and to improve the state’s schools.
* Worked with the Governor and legislative leaders to pass the toughest gun background check law in Delaware’s history.
* Led effort on Delaware’s Criminal Justice Council to dramatically increase federal funds dedicated to preventing inmates from committing new crimes after release from jail.
* Led effort to create new programs to ensure mental health services for victims of Dr. Earl Bradley and other young crime victims.
* Authored and worked with legislature to pass new laws that cracked down on bullying and cyberbullying in our schools.
* Wrote new regulations for state to get dry cleaning chemicals out of drinking water.
* As Insurance Commissioner, changed Delaware law to curtail practice of basing Delawareans’ auto and homeowners insurance rates on their credit ratings.
* Got new law through legislature stopping homeowners insurance companies from canceling policies of homeowners who made claims against their policies.
* Published annual study of school district spending of public dollars, to highlight those that were not efficiently using taxpayers’ money by spending it in the classroom.
* Helped establish the country’s first statewide computerized screening program to detect developmental delays in infants and toddlers.
* Wrote new laws protecting the rights of students with disabilities in public schools and requiring schools to provide those students with a higher level of support services.
* Successfully lobbied for funds to expand home visitation programs for high-risk infants and toddlers.
* Led state task force that persuaded legislature to dramatically cut medical costs in workers compensation program without limiting medical options for injured workers, creating framework for much lower business costs.
* Initiated new program to increase the share of federal funds available to small businesses willing to hire and train new workers.
* Wrote and helped pass new law making it easier for Delaware school districts to hire teachers earlier in the year, allowing them to compete with surround states for best new teachers.
* Created new programs in public schools for academically advanced students.
* Worked with the Governor to expand funding for quality early childhood programs and summer and after-school programs.
Matt grew up in New Castle County, attending Yorklyn Elementary and H.B. du Pont Middle School. When his family moved to California, he finished high school there and went to the University of California at Berkeley, where he was elected president of the student body. He attended Yale Law School.
Matt returned to Delaware and sought out Delaware Volunteer Legal Services for his first job, providing free legal advice and representation to people who couldn’t afford it otherwise. Meeting with clients in church basements, he worked on cases involving unfair apartment evictions, workplace discrimination and domestic violence.
In 1998, after he had entered private legal practice, Matt was asked by then-Governor Tom Carper to chair the state’s Child Protection Accountability Commission. The commission’s task was to help fix state government’s child protection system after a series of tragic child deaths, including that of 4-year-old Bryan Martin. After following the advice of Matt’s commission, caseworker loads were reduced and child safety measures improved – improvements that are still in force today.
From 2001 to 2003, Matt served as chief legal counsel to Governor Ruth Ann Minner at the start of her term. He wrote legislation and negotiated with members of the General Assembly to pass new laws like the Patient’s Bill of Rights, giving patients power the ability to stand up to insurance companies and the Emergency Health Powers Act, improving the ability of the state to respond to a bioterrorism attack.
In 2004, Matt won both a primary and the general election to become the state’s Insurance Commissioner, turning an office that had been forgotten by many into a strong advocate for Delaware consumers. In 2008, he was elected Delaware’s Lieutenant Governor, where he has focused on improving the education and health of the state’s children.
Matt married his wife Michele in 2002 after proposing to her on the boardwalk in Rehoboth, where they had met. Their dog Lenny joined the family in summer 2004. On December 29, 2004 – just days before Matt took office as insurance commissioner – twins Adam and Zach were born. The twins’ exploits and the thoughts of “Mrs. Denn” have been a staple of Matt’s blogs, Facebook posts and tweets.