Since taking office in 2001, Governor Ruth Ann Minner has worked to get things done in Delaware by improving schools, preserving and protecting the environment, improving health care and fighting cancer as well as creating and keeping jobs.
Gov. Minner has championed a comprehensive fight against high cancer rates, with $15 million so far for increased education, screening and treatment, the creation of a cancer registry to identify cancer case “hot spots” or environmental causes, a first-in-the-nation program to pay for cancer treatment for those who can't afford it, and the Clean Indoor Air Act, which has reduced cancerous pollutants in Delaware's restaurants, bars and casinos by more than 90 percent.
The first Minner term saw more than 12,000 jobs created or kept in Delaware, with employers like AAA Mid-Atlantic, Wal-Mart and Invista choosing the state over dozens of other sites. She also expanded opportunities for small business, especially women- and minority-owned companies in the state. Gov. Minner also steered the state through what experts have called the worst fiscal crisis for states since World War II. During the national economic recession, while other states reduced school to one day a week, dropped health care for families and laid off thousands of employees, Gov. Minner cut hundreds of millions of dollars out of the state budget without drastic effects on services and without raising taxes on average Delawareans.
In her second term, Gov. Minner wants to continue her efforts to move Delaware forward. She wants to put math and science specialists in middle schools to focus on those areas and build the Delaware Teachers Corps to put quality teachers in classrooms. She wants to reduce levels of mercury in Delaware’s air and water and prevent developers from rolling back her Livable Delaware rules. She wants to keep reducing the number of uninsured in Delaware and ensure that the state’s fight against cancer continues. And her New Economy Initiative is designed to jumpstart Delaware’s economy, with private and government support for manufacturing plants, in high-technology businesses and in new startup companies.
Born in Slaughter Neck in Sussex County, Ruth Ann left school at age 16 to help on her family’s farm, later marrying Frank Ingram. Widowed suddenly at 32 with three sons to raise, she worked two jobs while going to school, earning her G.E.D. She built a family towing business with her second husband, Roger Minner. Roger died of lung cancer in 1991. Ruth Ann began in politics stuffing envelopes, then worked as an aide in the state legislature and as receptionist to then-Gov. Sherman Tribbitt. She was elected to four terms in the state House of Representatives beginning in 1974, to three terms in the state Senate beginning in 1982 and to two terms as Lieutenant Governor in 1992 and 1996.