John Carney is the current governor of the State of Delaware. A member of the Democratic Party, Carney is term-limited from running in the state's next gubernatorial race, which is slated for 2024.

As a result of Carney's absence, the race becomes an open one. Bethany Hall-Long has been Delaware's lieutenant governor for the last several years. She is now setting her aim for the top political office in Delaware.

Officially a candidate for governor

Bethany Hall-Long is running for governor of Delaware, the Cape Gazette and Delaware Public Media report.

Her announcement comes after a significant amount of speculation. "I'm up for the challenge," she said.

Hall-Long is the second candidate to enter the Democratic primary formally. She follows New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer. State Attorney General Kathy Jennings is also thought to be a potential entrant. Thus far, no members of the Republican Party have announced a candidacy.

A nurse by trade, much of Hall-Long's emphasis in politics has been on healthcare. If she wins the general election, she'd reportedly be the first nurse to serve as governor in U.S. history.

Hall-Long first ran for the Delaware House of Representatives in 2000. She lost to Republican incumbent Richard C. Cathcart.

Cathcart later served as minority leader of the House. Two years later, following a re-districting, Hall-Long ran again. This time, she was successful. She would be re-elected twice to the State House.

Hall-Long was elected to the Delaware Senate in 2008. Incumbent Senator Steven H. Amick was not running for another term. In 2012, Hall-Long was victorious in her bid to keep her seat.

By 2016, the position of lieutenant governor of Delaware had been vacant for an extended period. The most recent occupant, Democrat Matthew Denn, had resigned after being elected attorney general. That year, Hall-Long won the race for lieutenant governor in a landslide over the Republican nominee. In that case, it was NAACP official La Mar Gunn.

She would be re-elected in 2020 by a very similar margin over Republican Donyale Hall.

Descendant of a former Delaware governor

Bethany Hall-Long is a native of Sussex County in southern Delaware. She is a descendant of David Hall. Hall had been a high-ranking Army officer during the American Revolutionary War. He later served as governor of Delaware with what is now referred to as the Democratic-Republican Party.

A young Bethany Hall would graduate from Indian River High School in Dagsboro. In 1987, she married her high school sweetheart, Dana Hall, then a member of the United States Navy. The couple have a son, Brock.

Hall-Long graduated with a bachelor's degree in nursing from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

She followed that with a master's degree from the Medical University of South Carolina. And later a doctorate via George Mason University.

Hall-Long would go on to join the faculty at George Mason. She has since become a nursing professor at the University of Delaware.