Presidential candidate to speak at Delaware GOP gathering

WILMINGTON — Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina will speak at the Delaware Republican Party’s convention today.

GOP presidential contender Carly Fiorina will speak at the Delaware Republican convention.

GOP presidential contender Carly Fiorina will speak at the Delaware Republican convention.

Ms. Fiorina was chief executive officer of Hewlett-Packard Co. from 1999 to 2005. She announced earlier this month she plans to pursue the GOP nomination for president.

John Fluharty, executive director of the state Republican Party, said local Republicans are looking forward to hearing Ms. Fiorina deliver the keynote speech.

“It motivates our grassroots to engage in a significant way in helping to prepare for 2016,” he said.

Because Delaware’s primary is late in the national cycle (April 26 in 2016, later than more than half the states), contenders often do not visit the First State, Mr. Fluharty said.

Ms. Fiorina’s message is one that should speak to many, he said.

Despite her tenure as head of a high-ranking Fortune 500 company, which saw her receive praise as one of the most powerful women in the world, Ms. Fiorina has been criticized.

In a press release, the Delaware Democratic Party referred to her administration as an “unmitigated disaster.”

“Instead of throwing a pep rally with a failed former CEO whose greatest accomplishment was outsourcing thousands of American jobs, Delaware Republicans should work with Democrats to improve our state’s infrastructure and create good-paying jobs here at home,” Executive Director Brian Boyle said in a statement.

About 300 Republicans will meet at the DoubleTree Hotel at 4727 Concord Pike to elect state officers for the 2016 election.

Two Delawareans elected in November, Treasurer Kenneth Simpler and state Rep. Lyndon Yearick, R-Camden, will speak after Ms. Fiorina.

Staff writer Matt Bittle can be reached at 741-8250 or Follow @MatthewCBittle on Twitter.

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