Rehoboth Beach Commissioner Kathy McGuiness announced her intention to run for state auditor Feb. 8.
As 15 to 20 friends and supporters gathered at the Rehoboth Beach Bandstand, McGuiness announced her candidacy to run as a Democrat for the office held by Republican and longtime auditor Tom Wagner.
McGuiness said she sees her role as auditor as an advocate seeking ways to make government more efficient and to cut out waste and abuse.
“If we can save money with different departments in the state, that’s ultimately going to save money for the taxpayers,” she said.
McGuiness said she didn’t think she was going to run for the position, but with her business background, she says she could find opportunities to benefit Delawareans.
“This office makes sense,” she said. “Going up and down the state, for years, the main issues are those kitchen table conversations of how much money do we have to spend? How have we spent it? What do we have to cut out? This matters to me. This becomes a whole part of a bigger picture which I think the auditor plays a huge role in.”
McGuiness said she sees potential in the office and wants to be an independent voice and advocate for Delaware.
Rep. Pete Schwartzkopf, D-Rehoboth Beach, endorsed McGuiness’ candidacy.
“Many of you know that Kathy is everywhere throughout the state, building relationships and taking on new responsibilities. Now we need her to take on one more, that of auditor of accounts for the state of Delaware,” he said.
A two-time Rehoboth commissioner - she served separate terms from 2000-13 and from 2014-present - McGuiness was the founding president of Rehoboth Beach Main Street and has worked as a pharmacist and run other businesses in Rehoboth. She ran for lieutenant governor in 2016, finishing third in the Democratic primary. McGuiness won re-election as Rehoboth commissioner last year with more than 900 votes, the top vote-getter among all candidates. McGuiness is the second Democratic candidate to announce intentions of running against Wagner. Former Rep. Dennis E. Williams has also announced his candidacy; a Democratic primary would be held in September.
Despite taking on the challenge of running for state office, McGuiness said she can balance her duties in Rehoboth.
“This is my hometown. If anyone can do it, I can do it,” she said.