State Treasurer Chip Flowers announced Friday he was withdrawing from his re-election bid for state treasurer, but would remain in office until his term expires in January.
Embattled Delaware State Treasurer Chip Flowers announced Friday morning he is withdrawing his re-election bid, but that he would finish out his four-year term, which ends in January.
The Dover Post reviewed a video of Flowers’ announcement, made during a press conference at his Dover office.
Flowers has faced criticism for his professional conduct in office as well as claims he has harassed members of his staff. In July, former deputy secretary Erika Benner, who resigned amid allegations she had misused a state credit card, filed a report with Dover Police saying Flowers had threatened her at a July 4 parade.
Benner filed a follow-up report on Aug. 7, claiming Flowers had continued to text and call her after she had asked him to stop doing so.
Wiping away tears, Flowers said the accusations against him were “lies,” and that even if re-elected and if he aspired to higher office, they would follow him.
“My family life would be horrible, always looking over my shoulder to see who’s lying on me and always coming to this podium,” he said.
“I don’t want to live like that.”
Flowers’ fiancée, Megan Lallier was at his side during the statement.
“With a with a heavy heart my fiancée and I have made the decision to relocate from the state of Delaware to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, our second home, a place where my life is not the topic of the paper, but where great policy debates and discussions are,” he said. “In short, a place where I fit in.”
“I will serve out the remainder of my term, proper transition the new state treasurer, something I didn’t have, and will take a couple of weeks off starting now to finish my wedding planning and get healthy.”
Flowers said he would make no public comments or statements for the foreseeable future. Flowers’ executive secretary said afterward his complete statement also would not be available to the press.
“Effective now, and for the remainder of my term, politics is now in my past, not my future,” he concluded.
His withdrawal leaves Smyrna’s Sean Barney as the Democratic Party’s presumptive nominee for the post. The two had engaged in a spirited debate earlier this month. Barney, not Flowers, had received the endorsement of former state treasurer and current Sen. Tom Carper; the state’s Democratic State Executive Committee declined in July to endorse either candidate.
Barney issued a statement shortly after Flowers' announcement, saying that although he and Flowers did not agree in several areas, he wishes him well.
“I became a candidate for state treasurer not to oppose any candidate, but because of my commitment to public service,” he said. “That is why I volunteered for the Marines, and why I worked for Sen. Carper, advising him on economic policy.
“The people of Delaware deserve a treasurer committed to open government and creating opportunity for the people of our great state. That’s what I will do if elected.”