Republican for Treasurer
Each candidate was asked to respond to three questions.
1. What are the top issues you will address in your campaign and what are your plans for moving those issues forward?
The way we govern our finances impacts every Delaware family, business and non- profit. As your State Treasurer, I’ve worked across state government, and across political aisles, with a focus on improving the value of what we get for what we spend. I have applied lessons from my career as a CFO and investment manager to fix the things that determine if we prosper together as a people:
● Budgeting for Success: Sponsored reforms to our $4 billion state budgeting process that bring more certainty and sustainability to the things that we all rely on -- education, safety, healthcare, and transportation.
● Generating State Funds: Redesigned our $2 billion investment portfolio to ensure safety while stretching every dollar -- the interest generated this past year almost doubled the 10-year average!
● Achieving Retirement Readiness: Overhauled the 20-year old, $1 billion savings plan so 33,000 state employees have a nationally recognized, award-winning platform to help secure their retirement.
● Maximizing Our Productivity: Implemented a strategic planning process to develop our most valuable asset -- our people. Operations have improved on key metrics while 75% of positions have been reclassified to foster professional growth.
Every year that I have held office, we review and amend our strategic plan with a singular focus: create value for Delawareans. We do this by fostering financial excellence in all of the State’s fiscal operations. Looking ahead, we will build on the accomplishments listed above to:
● Stretch Every Dollar: Improve the efficiency of our $10 billion in spending by re- engineering the way the State transacts business--an initiative that will save money, lower the risk for data breaches, and prevent cyber fraud.
● Balancing our Borrowings: Make the most of our $2 billion in indebtedness by instituting formal debt policies and an annual feasibility study. These reforms will better align our needs with our means, cut down on our expenses and preserve our AAA bond rating.
● Consistency in our Commitments: Secure stable funding for valuable programs that preserve farmland, support fire companies and improve the lives of persons with disabilities. When we make commitments to these communities we have to run our overall finances so that we can keep those promises.
2. What makes you uniquely qualified for the political office you seek?
As your State Treasurer, I’ve discovered a role where my purpose to make a difference and career in finance intersect in a place very near and dear to me - my home state. Delaware needs and our citizens deserve a true finance professional managing our finances. In the case of the State Treasurer’s Office, that means having the knowledge, experience and professionalism to oversee the financial operations of a government that spends $10 billion, carries $2 billion in debt, invests $2 billion in taxpayer money and oversees plans with $2 billion of savings. The four years I have served as State Treasurer are backed up by a 20-year career as an investment manager for a $25 billion global investment firm and the CFO of a Delaware- based property and hotel management company.
3. What community groups are you involved with and in what capacity?
As your State Treasurer, I actively serve on more than a dozen boards, committees and panels that have an effect on communities throughout Delaware. These include:
● Agricultural Lands Preservation Board, that conserves property to ensure Delaware’s farming industry;
● Delaware Council on Volunteer Fire Service, that provides low-cost loans to fire companies for capital improvements and fire equipment;
● State Employee Benefits Committee (SEBC) and its Health Fund Task Force, that determine healthcare and fringe benefits for state employees and teachers and set health policy initiatives for the State;
● Board of Pardons, that hears petitions for both clemency of prisoners and pardons for those with a criminal record;
● Bond Issuing Officers, that approves all general obligation debt and other state agency indebtedness;
● Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council (DEFAC) and its Advisory Council on Revenues and Advisory Panel on Fiscal Controls, that forecasts State revenues and expenditures and advises on tax policy and budget reforms;
● Government Efficiency & Accountability Review Board (GEAR) and its Financial Services Delivery Committee and Public-Private Partnership Committee, that seeks continuous improvement in state government operations;
● Cash Management Policy Board and its Investment Subcommittee and Banking Subcommittee, that sets policy for the investment of State funds; and
● Plans Management Board and its Audit and Governance Committee and Investment Committee, that oversees the retirement savings plan for state employees and teachers, the 529 savings plan for college, and the ABLE savings plan for people with disabilities.
In addition to these state-level commitments, I maintain an active role in national organizations that support the operations of the Office of the State Treasurer. These include the National Association of State Treasurers and the College Savings Plan Network. I am also active in public policy organizations as an Aspen-Rodel Institute fellow and an alum of Leadership Delaware.
Profession/employment: State Treasurer of Delaware (2014 - present); Chief Financial Officer, Simpler & Sons LLC (2005 - 2014); Managing Director, Citadel LLC (1996 - 2005); Associate, Kirkland & Ellis (1993 - 1996)
# of years employed: 25
Education: St. Andrew’s School (Middletown, DE), summa cum laude, 1985; Princeton University, AB political economy, summa cum laude, 1989; University of Chicago, MBA, with honors, 1993; University of Chicago, JD, with honors, 1993; University of Delaware, MPA, degree in process
Political experience: Elected Delaware State Treasurer in November of 2014