Alternate headline: Dennis E. Williams still only Democrat in Auditor’s Race.
Kathleen Davies, the possibly former and maybe current Chief Administrative Officer in the Republican Auditor Tom Wagner’s office, though she has been on administrative leave for over a year and a half, has now filed as a Democratic candidate for Auditor. She had previously filed as an unaffiliated candidate for the top job, Auditor.
I think this is an incredibly stupid political move on her part, especially if she actually wants the job and wants to win the election. Davies, no matter how qualified she is, has no base of support in the Democratic Party. Rehoboth Beach Town Commissioner Kathy McGuiness, also a recent former Republican and monstrously unqualified for the position, at least has a base of support downstate in Sussex County and has Speaker Schwartzkopf’s support. Former State Representative Dennis E. Williams, is at least known upstate in New Castle County with a base of support there. Kathleen Davies? Not so much.
She could have easily become the Republican candidate or remained an Independent candidate and had a better chance of winning the job.
But now that she has decided to run as a Democrat, I am afraid we are going to have to demand full and complete transparency from Davies regarding her paid leave from the Auditor’s office. Hell, it may even make Davies look good, as perhaps she was forced out because she found something that Wagner did not want disclosed. Who knows? But silence on the issue makes you think she did something wrong, as the News Journal July 2016 report on the investigation into Ms. Davies’ travel reimbursements suggested.
So, essentially, any Republican can step in and take this race? We have three, for lack of a better word, damaged candidates. Two party jumpers and one Dennis E. Williams, spite candidate extraordinaire. I hate to say this, but it looks like McGuinness will take it if no R’s (currently registered) jump in. She will have the cash. Dennis’ fundraising tactics include showing up at other people’s fundraisers with Square on his iPhone and asking for money. I couldn’t tell you where Davies’ funding will come from.
All that being said, why do we have an elected auditor? I get the supposed independence, but a contracted firm could do the same, as could an appointee who is nominated and confirmed. Considering nothing has been done for nearly two decades in this office, i do not see the need for the cost of an election.
Why do we have an elected auditor is an excellent question. Especially since it seems that even the GA isn’t willing to fund this office properly to do its work. My theory is that there is a good deal of the Delaware Way that could be dismantled if this office did work properly.
There are so many that can be dismantled. NCC Executive could be made a County Manager and voted in by council for a contracted period. That would free up $1.5 million. The recorder of deeds and register of wills could be appointed county/state positions which would eliminate millions in election costs. The State Treasurer and Auditor could be appointed and eliminate millions in election costs, or rolled into other departments and save multiple millions of dollars. The lists could go on.