Letter to the Editor: Simpson looks back on 20 years in Delaware Senate

Dear Friends,

As I come to the conclusion of my 20-year tenure in the Delaware State Senate, I am reminded once again of the importance of surrounding yourself with good people. When I first ran for office I was honored to have a campaign committee consisting of individuals of the highest moral and ethical integrity. People like Jack Burris, Bill Strickland, Lois and Walt Studte, Skip Jones, John Caldwell and so many others who gave their talents, time and energy to get me elected and had nothing to gain, but what they thought might be good government.

Gary Simpson

And then there were the generous people who contributed to the six campaigns I ran; the people who attended my dinners and came to my many crab feasts. There were friends who gave without being asked because they just wanted to help. Donors are the lifeblood of any campaign and I sincerely appreciate their help. I tried to spend their money wisely.

And then there was my legislative staff. I have been extremely blessed to have some of the best people I know work beside me over the years. They helped make me look good, but more importantly; they have been a real resource to the people I represent. They work behind the scenes and don’t get the credit they deserve. I would have been lost without their help and I count them as friends.

My colleagues in the Senate have inspired me. They elected me as their leader 10 years ago and they have pushed me to become better at my job. I thank them for their confidence in me, their ability to work in harmony, and their optimism to see brighter days in the future. They have kept me going.

I have been fortunate to serve these 20 years in the Senate, but I could not have achieved this milestone without the thousands of people who voted for me. They didn’t always agree with me, but I think for the most part, they respected my position on issues. I can think of only a small handful of disgruntled people where we didn’t end the conversation with a handshake and a smile. I’ve really been blessed with a terrific Senate District with some amazing people. We get along — and that includes Democrats and Republicans.

Lastly, I must thank my family. If anyone has been blessed with a family that deserves a mountain of credit, then it is me. My three daughters were fairly young when I first entered the Senate and I’m sure they would have much preferred Dad to be home rather than going to a night meeting or perhaps missing some school event. Instead they gave me their full support. They buoyed my spirits when I needed lifting.

And lastly, what would I have done without my wife Debbie by my side? As Tom Draper once said during my first election; “Debbie is Gary’s secret weapon.” And she’s been my secret weapon all my life. She keeps me humble, helps me remember who I am, and softens my rough edges. She’s my inspiration to try to do better whether in the Senate or in my personal life. She’s the one behind the scenes who gets no credit, nor does she want it.

She’s the love of my life and I thank her for going along on this 20-year adventure with me.


Gary Simpson
Senator, 18th District (Retired)

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