Delaware Public Media

Delaware Democratic Party accuses Republican candidates of campaign law violations

Oct 15, 2018

The Delaware Democratic Party has filed a complaint alleging two Republican officeholders of violating campaign finance laws.


Candidates can coordinate with political action committees on public policy advertising, but not ads advocating for or against a candidate.

Democrats say State Treasurer Ken Simpler and State Sen. Greg Lavelle illegally coordinated with their PACS to produce advocacy ads, not policy advertising. Additionally, it alleges Simpler did not fully report a $117,000 cable ad buy. Delaware Democratic Party Executive Director Jesse Chadderdon said they expect both parties to play by the same set of rules.

“We have campaign laws and campaign finance rules into place for a reason and that it’s very serious and that they’re in place because Delawareans and Americans have an expectation that the political process is going to be fair and transparent,” he said.

Lavelle said the advertising in question is all policy based. And he says his filings are all legal and transparent.

“This is a farce," he said. "This is being done three weeks before the election to generate headlines. It has no merit and it’s politics as usual in Delaware.”

The complaint was filed with the State Elections Office, who will determine if it has merit.

Simpler’s campaign and the state Republican Party didn’t respond to requests for comment.