Markell's former policy dir. to face Flowers for treasurer

By Amy Cherry 5:59am, February 18, 2014 - Updated 7:43am, February 18, 2014
VIDEO: WDEL's Amy Cherry speaks with Democratic candidate for treasurer, Sean Barney.
Gov. Markell's former policy director is officially running for treasurer.

WDEL's Amy Cherry was first to speak with him about the decision.

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Iraq War veteran Sean Barney didn't run from public service after he nearly died in Fallujah in 2006.

"I'm very fortunate to be here. I had a moment where I began to lose consciousness and believed I wasn't coming back, and so to get a new lease on life, I know of no better thing to do with that than to give back," he said.

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That's a big reason he's running for state treasurer, and to politics, he'll bring a valuable lesson learned in the Marine Corp.

"I learned that it's not particularly an excuse that you don't like the person to the left or the right of you. You have a job to do, and in the end, the job is bigger and more important than you," he said.

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Barney says the Marine Corp also taught him personal responsibility to own up to mistakes and make things right.

Markell's former policy director hopes to restore integrity to the office that's come under the spotlight recently and to be an advocate for opportunity.

"Collaborating with community groups to promote financial literacy, to empower people," he said were among his goals.

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When asked whether he was expecting endorsements from his former bosses Gov. Markell and Senator Carper -- Barney said...

"I'm asking the people of Delaware for the opportunity to serve and that's something I need to earn in my own right. So I'd welcome their support, but I need to do this in my own way and in my own right," said Barney.

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In a statement sent to WDEL, Gov. Markell says Barney was a valuable member and he respects his decision to run. But despite his spars with Treasurer Flowers, Markell tells WDEL he won't endorse any candidate in the primary for state treasurer.

Barney admits it will be difficult to face an incumbent like Flowers in the September primary, but he's prepared.

"My intention is to run a positive campaign, to offer an alternative, to put my story out there, my record of service, and ultimately, it's up to the people to decide who the most qualified person for the job is, and in my experience, they usually get that judgment call right," he said.

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Republican Ken Simpler has also jumped in the race for state treasurer.

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