Choking back tears, Flowers withdraws from race

By Amy Cherry 9:52am, August 15, 2014 - Updated 10:14pm, August 15, 2014
A major announcement from State Treasurer Chip Flowers.
WDEL's Amy Cherry reports.

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With tears streaming down his face, State Treasurer Chip Flowers announced he will be ending his re-election bid.

"I love the people of this state, but I recognize that my political views of wanting to better the lives of the people through bold ideas and change are not accepted here," said Flowers.

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The shocking announcement comes after ex-deputy treasurer Erika Benner came out accusing him of harassment. Flowers claims they're all lies.

"These lies are going to follow me in Delaware after re-election, always having to look over my shoulder to see who's lying to me, I don't want to live like that," said Flowers.

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He said he and his fiancee, Megan Lallier, are moving to Massachusetts, where his move and upcoming wedding will be the focus.

"A place where my life is not the topic of the paper, where great policy debates and discussions are. In short, a place where I fit in," he said.

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Flowers says he will finish out his term as state treasurer, but says effectively immediately, politics are his past.

Local politicians react to Flowers' announcement

State Representative John Kowalko (D-Newark South) has publicly supported Flowers on numerous occasions and said Friday was a sad day for Delaware politics.

"I think that there's been an effort to influence the social mainstream media, leading them unwittingly or unwillingly down a path of what I think is character assassination," Kowalko said.

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He said he still plans to bring a package of bills proposed by Flowers to increase transparency with the cash management policy board to the General Assembly.

New Castle County Council President Chris Bullock, who presides over the Delaware Black Caucus, said he was surprised by Flowers' announcement.

When asked whether he believed allegations of political meddling, Bullock told WDEL's Delaware Afternoon News he wasn't aware of such activity.

However, he did note that Flowers was often at odds with other politicians who may have opposed his reelection.

"Politics is a contact sport and things like this go on all the time nationally and locally...I'm not aware of anything of that nature, personally," he said.

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