Delaware State Treasurer Chip Flowers withdraws from election (video)

 (Mark Eichmann/ NewsWorks)

(Mark Eichmann/ NewsWorks)

Facing new allegations from a former deputy, Delaware State Treasurer Chip Flowers has ended his campaign reelection. 

Flowers withdrew from the campaign during a tearful announcement in his Dover office Friday morning. Flowers said he will finish his term which expires in January.

“Effective now, and for the remainder of my term, politics is now my past, not my future,” Flowers said as he fought back tears. Flowers plans to move to Massachusetts with his fiancée after his term expires in January, “A place where my life is not the topic of the paper, but great policy debates and discussions are.”

Flowers has been hounded by scandal related to his former deputy treasurer Erika Benner. The scandals started as an investigation of Benner’s misuse of state funds, but in recent weeks, Benner has alleged that Flowers harassed her and her family. Flowers denied those charges and said it’s Benner who is the harasser.

“All of you know that these lies are going to follow me in Delaware after re-election. If I seek to achieve higher office, they will still follow me, and in effect, my family life would be horrible. Always having to look over my shoulder to see who is lying on me and always coming before this podium. I don’t want to live like that.”

Flowers was to face Democratic challenger Sean Barney in a primary election next month. Barney issued a statement following the announcement from Flowers. “While Chip Flowers and I disagreed on several public matters, I wish him the best in the next chapter of his life,” Barney said in the statement.

The two Republicans vying for the office, Sher Valenzuela and Ken Simpler, both called for Flowers to resign on Thursday.

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