Republican files for auditor just before deadline

James Spadola

DOVER — Republican James Spadola announced Tuesday he is running for auditor, filing just hours before the noon deadline.

With Tom Wagner retiring after 29 years as auditor, Democrats were poised to pick up another important office. Mr. Spadola, who ran unsuccessfully for the state Senate in 2016, gives the GOP a chance to avoid losing control of one of two statewide posts the party controls.

“The Auditor’s office is critically important in acting as a watchdog of the hard-earned money of Delaware’s taxpayers,” Mr. Spadola, 35, said in a statement. “I was a watchdog for Newark as a police officer for many years. I look forward to the opportunity of combining my MBA, and my financial experience as an underwriting manager in Manhattan and former union treasurer to be a watchdog for Delaware.”

A former member of the U.S. Army, Mr. Spadola entered the finance industry in 2007 after graduating from the University of Delaware. He spent just over a year and a half with Merchant Cash and Capital before joining the Newark Police Department. He now works for the nonprofit Coded by Kids.

Running as a moderate in 2016, Mr. Spadola garnered 43.7 percent of the vote in a challenge to Sen. Harris McDowell, D-Wilmington, for the 1st Senatorial District seat.

“James is the most qualified candidate to be State Auditor and will serve the people of Delaware well,” former Gov. and Rep. Mike Castle said in a statement. “I look forward to supporting him along his path to victory, and I know he will execute the duties of the Auditor’s Office in a nonpartisan and fair manner.”

Republican Joan Winters, a certified public accountant, announced her campaign for auditor at the end of June, only to withdraw a week later, citing a desire to spend more time with her family.

On the Democratic side, Rehoboth Beach Commissioner Kathy McGuiness, former state Rep. Dennis E. Williams and former chief administrative auditor for the Auditor of Accounts Office Kathleen Davies are seeking the post.

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