Dem. challenger for Delaware Treasurer unveils campaign platform

 (From L) Chip Flowers and Sean Barney (File)

(From L) Chip Flowers and Sean Barney (File)

Anticipating tonight’s primary debate between the Democratic candidates for Delaware Treasurer, challenger Sean Barney revealed his plans for the state office. 

Barney’s plan outlines a list of priorities, including rebuilding public trust, broadening opportunity and strengthening Delaware’s middle class. Additional details about Barney’s plan are posted on his campaign website.

Public trust

“My first actions as Treasurer will be to bring the office into order, cut down on wasteful travel and expenditures,” said Barney, who was likely taking a jab at Democratic incumbent Chip Flowers. Flowers was accused of abusing his state credit card to extend a work trip to Alaska in 2012; he continues to deny any wrongdoing.

Flowers announced his ideas for the office in late May. Both candidates are pushing for more transparency in the office.

Barney said he will bring on a deputy treasurer to safeguard state assets and establish a system where people can download information with original sources about how Delaware raises its revenues and how it spends taxpayer money.

Strengthening the middle class

Financial empowerment is also a part of Barney’s platform. He wants to create a system of universal savings accounts for every child in Delaware. Seeded at birth, the savings accounts would be designated for college or vocational training after high school.

Additionally, Barney wants to provide access to financial education in schools and recruit and train volunteers who could help families access scholarships and other community resources available to them.

“As Treasurer, I will be a champion for workers fighting for a livable wage and union representation. Further, I will insist that employers receiving state funds comply with Delaware law, including laws governing wages and working conditions,” Barney said.

Primary Debate

Barney’s public policy experience includes stints with Gov. Jack Markell and U.S. Senator Tom Carper. He served as policy director and as economic adviser respectively. Earlier in his career, Barney worked for U.S. Senator Bill Bradley. Barney is a retired U.S. Marine and an Iraq War veteran.

Barney will face off against incumbent Chip Flowers for the first time tonight. The Delaware chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists is hosting a primary debate at the Widener University School of Law in Wilmington at 6 p.m.

The winner of September’s primary will go up against the winner of the Republican primary, which is between Ken Simpler and Sher Valenzuela, who recently filed for candidacy. Valenzuela’s political career most recently included a run for lieutenant governor in 2012.

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