After hearing rumblings about it for months, Democrat Sean Barney officially announced his plans to run for Delaware State Treasurer today.
“I will work for the citizens of Delaware to bring responsible oversight and accountability to the office of the Treasurer. I will be a voice for the financially stressed and a champion for financial literacy and economic opportunity in the First State,” Barney states on his campaign website.
A retired Marine, Barney enlisted after 9/11. He received a Purple Heart after being shot in the neck while deployed in Iraq. Barney also served as an aide to Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., and most recently as Gov. Jack Markell’s policy director.
Barney will face off against Democratic incumbent Chip Flowers in September’s primary. Flowers has battled publicly with the state’s Cash Management Policy Board; its members, the majority of whom are appointees of the governor, decide how to invest taxpayer dollars.
Accused of investing against the board’s recommendations and being largely uncooperative, Flowers’ powers were at the center of a bill many say strips him of investing authority. Flowers, meantime, continues to push for legislation requiring things like term limits and financial disclosure for cash board members.
“I think that voters are going to want the change and the reforms that we’ve been advocating,” Flowers said.
Flowers believes the governor has a political vendetta against him, in large part because of his well-documented ambitions for the governorship. Whether Barney’s candidacy comes at the governor’s urging remains in question.
“I look forward to running against Gov. Markell’s former policy director,” Flowers said. “I think that we have done a great job at the treasury and I think we have to put the issue directly to voters.” According to Flowers, under his leadership, the state has made over $44 million.
In an interview on First last month, Flowers said, “I know the governor says he’s not going to endorse, but your former policy director’s running against me, so again, let’s be real.”
The primary is scheduled for Sept. 9, 2014.