Valenzuela joins race for state treasurer

Will face off against Rehoboth native Simpler
July 16, 2014
Sher Valenzuela, a Republican from Milton, has entered the state treasure's race. She will face off against Rehoboth Beach native Ken Simpler Sept. 9 primary. COURTESY CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Sher Valenzuela, a Milton resident and Milford businesswoman, has thrown her name into the congested race for state treasurer as a Republican candidate.

Filing July 8, the final day allowed for the Tuesday, Sept. 9 primary, Valenzuela will be facing off against Rehoboth Beach native and current New Castle County resident Ken Simpler, who filed March 18.

Valenzuela said she'll use her experience in business creation to help the state.

“I’m a job creator. I know how to build companies,” Valenzuela said in a July 8 statement. “I will use the treasurer’s office to be a constant advocate for the pro-growth policies – like lower taxes and common sense regulation – that will promote job growth in our state, rather than hinder growth like we’ve seen state policies do in recent years.”

Simpler said in a statement following Valenzuela's announcement that his experience in finance is what the treasurer's office needs.

“I welcome anyone entering this race who is committed to increasing the public’s awareness of the importance that the state treasurer plays in the fiscal health of the state, and by extension, Delaware’s economy,” said Simpler. “My message is clear: a finance job requires a finance professional. I am the only candidate in the field with a proven track record of managing money and running a finance office. I look forward to sharing with voters my vision that bold reforms and conservative principles can be combined to make Delaware first in finance.”

Valenzuela was named Delaware Small Businesswoman of the Year in 2012 and runs a successful industrial upholstery factory in Milford with her husband, Eli, employing 75 people.

Simpler is the chief financial officer for the Rehoboth Beach-based Seaboard Hotels and previously managed a successful, billion-dollar portfolio for a global financial institution, Citadel LLC.

There will also be a Democratic primary for state treasurer.

Incumbent Chip Flowers Jr. will face off against Sean Barney. Flowers is from Middletown and has held the position since January 2011. Barney is from Smyrna and, most recently, has served as policy director for Gov. Jack A. Markell.

Additional primaries

In the race for U.S. Senator, there will be a Republican primary between Carl Smink of Milton and Kevin Wade of New Castle. Smink is a Air Force veteran and long-time federal government contractor. Wade is a professional engineer who lost to Sen. Tom Carper, a Democrat from Wilmington, in 2012. The winner of this primary will take on U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, a Democrat from Newark.

In the race for state auditor, two Wilmington-based candidates will be vying for the opportunity to take on Republican incumbent Tom Wagner, who has been in the seat for 25 years.

Kenneth A. Matlusky, a CPA who ran for the position four years ago, will face off against Brenda Mayrack, a lawyer and the Democratic Party's past executive director.

In Senate District 18, Gary M. Wolfe of Greenwood will face off against Patrick J. Emory of Lincoln. Wolfe is an operations manager at Merck Animal Health in Millsboro. Emory is a former director of the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control's Division of Fish and Wildlife and is currently the director of the Office of Community Services for DNREC.

This district stretches across the northern part of Sussex County from the Delaware Bay to the Maryland state line, representing part of Milford, Slaughter Beach, Ellendale and Greenwood.

Other than the Democratic primary in Representative District 14 against Speaker of the House Rep. Peter Schwartzkopf, D-Rehoboth Beach, and Rehoboth Beach resident Nelson Warren, there will be no primaries in any of the 10 remaining Sussex County legislative seats up for election.

To see a full list of all candidates go to the Sussex County Department of Elections website at

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