It’s official: Delaware State Treasurer Chip Flowers is no longer a candidate in the upcoming primary.
Flowers officially withdrew his candidacy for re-election on Thursday afternoon, nearly two weeks after he held a tearful press conference announcing his exit from the primary.
The embattled treasurer faced controversy stemming from interactions with Erika Benner, his former deputy treasurer.
“This decision was based on the need to put my family ahead of constantly battling deceptions, falsehoods and lies by my opponents that not only threatened my family and livelihood, but have also prevented our state from moving forward,” Flowers said in a statement.
Flowers submitted withdrawal paperwork to the Office of the State Election Commissioner that went into effect Thursday.
Within an hour of Flowers’s exit, the Executive Committee of the Delaware Democratic Party announced their endorsement of Sean Barney, Flowers’ prospective rival in the Democratic primary.
“The Delaware Democratic Party is behind Sean Barney fully,” Chairman John Daniello said in a release. “He will serve responsibly and honorably in the Treasurer’s office and our focus is getting him elected in November.”
Theo Gregory, president of Wilmington’s City Council and former Flowers supporter, signed off on the party’s decision.
“I believe Sean Barney is the best candidate for the job,” Gregory said. “The State Treasurer has the potential to positively impact the direction of the State. Sean sees the potential the office has to serve all Delawareans, and has the genuine desire to benefit Delaware through his service.”
Election Commissioner Elaine Manlove, who voiced exasperation earlier this week over delays in Flowers’ formal withdrawal from the primary, said election workers should be able to take Flowers’ name off the voting machines in Kent and Sussex Counties before the Sept. 9 primary.
In New Castle County, poll workers will affix stickers on the ballot over Flowers’ name.
For absentee voters, Flowers will remain on the ballot, but Manlove said her office will not count any votes that he receives.