Attorney General Matt Denn took office in January 2015, and has focused on the issues of reducing violent crime in Delaware, attacking Delaware’s spiraling opioid crisis, and ensuring fairness in Delaware’s criminal justice system. He has successfully advocated for the expanded use of community policing by having police officers on foot patrol in high crime areas, a heightened focus on juvenile gun crimes, and addressing the underlying causes of crime by investing in areas such as after-school and summer programs for juveniles, re-entry programs for adults and juveniles being released from correctional facilities, and heightened support for public schools in high-poverty neighborhoods. He also established a new Office of Civil Rights and Public Trust.
A long-time advocate for Delaware’s children and a proponent of small businesses, Attorney General Denn helped improve Delaware’s public schools by leading efforts to improve recruitment of outstanding new school teachers, encourage more efficient spending of tax dollars by school districts, provide better services to schoolchildren with disabilities, and expand parental involvement in schools. During his time as Lieutenant Governor, Matt also led efforts to create one of the nation’s most comprehensive developmental screening programs for infants and toddlers, create a new health insurance program for children of low income working parents, and expand the number of families willing to care for children in foster care. He worked closely with the Governor on the Governor’s landmark early childhood education program, and was part of the Governor’s financial team, helping balance six state budgets during the worst recession in almost a century.
As the state’s elected Insurance Commissioner from 2005 to 2009, Matt led the charge to pass laws restricting credit scoring and unfair cancellation of homeowners insurance, and fought to limit increases in Delawareans’ insurance rates. During his term, workers compensation insurance rates were cut by 45 percent, saving tens of millions of dollars for Delaware businesses. Additionally, Matt personally took on the cases of hundreds of Delawareans who were being treated unfairly by their insurance companies.
Attorney General Denn grew up in New Castle County, the son of Morton and Marilyn Denn, attending Yorklyn Elementary and H.B. du Pont Middle School before his family moved to California. He graduated from the University of California at Berkeley and Yale Law School. Attorney General Denn returned to Delaware after Yale and sought out Delaware Volunteer Legal Services for his first job, providing free legal advice and representation to people who couldn’t afford it. In 1998, after he had entered private legal practice, Matt was asked by then-Governor Tom Carper to chair a commission charged with fixing state government’s child protection system after a series of tragic child deaths.
Attorney General Denn and his wife Michele live near Newark with their 12-year-old twins Adam and Zach and their pug Lenny.