Delaware Public Media

Democrat Colleen Davis defeats Ken Simpler for state treasurer

Nov 7, 2018

The State Treasurer’s office is returning to Democratic hands.


A political newcomer won it back from the GOP.

Democrat Colleen Davis ended Republican incumbent Ken Simpler’s bid for a second term.

Davis is among a group of Democratic newcomers to win in their first run for office.

She said she believes her commitment to considering the Delawareans behind the numbers played a role in her victory. “I think that that resonated with people and I think people really heard that and you know I think that’s probably what got us across the finish line,” she said.

Simpler sees a number of factors contributing to his defeat.

He said he’s not as well known as other incumbents. He also believes more voters this year cast ballots based on party identification, stacking the odds against a Republican in a mostly blue state.

“You know, that combination of name recognition and just people’s proclivities I think this year was to probably look for less opportunities to vote the individual and really vote more in line, straight in line,” he said.

Simpler adds while he would have loved to serve another term as state treasurer, he doesn’t know if he’ll run for public office again.

Turnout in Delaware Tuesday was 52 percent. That is the highest for a midterm since 2010 when it was 49 percent. The average turnout in the last three midterm cycles was 43 percent.