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Wilmington, DE

Wednesday, January 29, 2014 - 8:34am   |   Updated Wednesday, January 29, 2014 - 10:01am

A Republican jumps in treasurer's race

By: Amy Cherry

A Republican enters the race for treasurer in Delaware.

WDEL's Amy Cherry reports.

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Ken Simpler, chief financial officer for Seaboard Hotels, a family-owned hotel management company, tells WDEL he's running for treasurer because he's got years of financial experience -- something he says embattled incumbent Chip Flowers doesn't have.

"One of the things that concerns me about the current treasurer is he doesn't have one iota of financial experience, not one," Simpler says.

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Simpler, a former hedge fund manager, has no political experience, but he says his financial background is his stronghold over his opponent.

"He's (Flowers) never managed a dollar as far as I know; he's been an attorney, but that's a far cry from being a money manager or portfolio manager," says Simpler.

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When asked where he stands when it comes to financial disclosure for members of the Cash Management Policy Board -- something Flowers wants to see -- he said he wasn't certain.

"I don't know what the transparency issue...I don't know whether it's a real issue or whether it's an issue being generated for political reasons," Simpler says.

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Simpler adds there could be legalities involved in financial disclosure as well.

"You may lose a lot of quality people. I mean frankly, people who have a lot of financial sophistication might be managing a firm, and they may not be at liberty to disclose holdings," says Simpler.

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So far, no other Republican has entered the race.

On the Demcoratic side, Gov. Markell's former policy director Sean Barney is mulling a primary run against Flowers.