Delaware Public Media

Delaware elections office clears Republican candidates

Oct 29, 2018

Two Republican candidates for statewide office have been cleared of wrongdoing by the state elections office.

Delaware Elections Commissioner Elaine Manlove said she found State Treasurer Ken Simpler and State Sen. Greg Lavelle’s campaign ads did not violate campaign finance laws as alleged by a complaint filed by the state Democratic Party.

But Manlove did find Lavelle’s campaign literature violated the spirit of the law, if not the letter. And that’s something Jesse Chadderdon of the Delaware Democratic Party is seizing on.

“I don’t think Delawareans ever would have expected that it would be legal for a candidate to run a political action committee that spent tens of thousands of dollars on that candidate’s campaign as a end run around campaign finance contributions,” he said.

In a Facebook post, Lavelle said he did nothing wrong and was completely transparent. He also alleges Manlove is a Democratic partisan.

The complaint filed by Democrats earlier this month accused Simpler and Lavelle of illegally coordinating with their PACS to produce advocacy ads, not policy advertising.

Additionally, it alleged Simpler did not fully report a $117,000 cable ad buy. But Manlove only found Simpler’s PAC was late in filing its third-party advertiser report.