On Tuesday, November 4 Delaware voters will go to the polls to determine the winners of the 2014 Delaware General Election races. In the Milford area, Pat Emory and Senator Gary Simpson are running to represent the area as State Senator in the 18th District. Polls are open from 7 am until 8pm on Tuesday, November 4. Voters can find their polling place location online at https://ivote.de.gov.
Gary Simpson, Candidate for 18th Senate District, Republican Party
Occupation: Delaware Senate Minority Leader, Representing 18th District, former Southern Delaware Director of Department of the University of Delaware
Family: Wife Debbie, Three married daughters, six grandchildren ages 6 months to 8 years.
Education: B.S. and M.S. Degrees from the University of Delaware
Former General Manager of the Delaware State Fair and the Southern Delaware Director of Alumni & University Relations for the University of Delaware
1. Why are you running for the Delaware State Senate?
I am running because I really enjoy what I am doing, and I think I bring valuable knowledge and experience to the Legislative process.
2. What personal or professional background will be critical to performing the duties of State Senate?
With an undergraduate and graduate degree in agriculture economics, I have experience in understanding and appreciating Delaware’s agriculture industry. I grew up in Houston, graduated from Milford High School and worked in Harrington close to 20 years. My wife and I raised our family in Milford and we vacationed in all three of the beach communities I represent. I know my legislative district well and the people I represent. I also have years of experience running a successful business in the private sector. I know what it’s like to have to “make payroll”, while combatting government inefficiencies and needless roadblocks. I’ve been a leader in the Delaware Senate for the past six years and have consistently worked to represent the values of my district.
3. Name a specific example of something the Delaware State Senate has done to improve the quality of life for citizens in Delaware.
I think Delaware has done a commendable job in achieving cleaner air, and cleaner water in our coastal and inland bays.
4. Name a specific example of something you would like to change in your first term if you are elected to the Delaware Senate.
In the next General Assembly, I would like to change the way Delaware calculates Prevailing Wage. Little else would bring us greater economic stimulus than scrapping the present method and going to a regional (and fairer) method of calculation, saving Delaware taxpayers millions of dollars every year.
5. What issues do you feel are important to the residents of Milford, Delaware specifically?
Like everyone else in my Senate district, Milford residents need more than service level jobs; rather they need jobs that truly pay a living wage. They need jobs that can increase their standard of living so that they can once again reach for the American dream. They also need to know that their kids and grandchildren are getting the best education possible. Thirdly, they need to know that someone in Dover is looking out for them, serving as a check and balance to a government intent on waste, inefficiency, and ever increasing taxes.
6. How will you offer help to the City of Milford’s focus on economic development?
Like I always have, I will continue to offer my services in getting the right people to the table. I will also work to make sure Milford gets its fair-share of State revenue for economic development. I think Milford’s current City Council is poised to do great things in the future, and I stand ready to offer them my complete assistance.
7. Does the state spend too much money? And if so, where would you specifically cut spending?
Yes, the State spends too much money with little accountability. I would make a serious attempt to quantify the success of many of our State agencies. I would first look to the Department of Health and Social Services. Today, approximately 20 percent of Delawareans are on Medicaid assistance, costing the State hundreds of millions of dollars each year. My bet is that fraud is prevalent. I would also drug test to determine eligibility for assistance. I would next look at the Department of Transportation. I have to admit that the current Secretary has done much to trim waste from the Department, but excess outside contracting still concerns me and I think we could find additional savings. The third department I would look to for savings is the Department of Education. DOE is bulging at the seams with excess employees earning over $100K per year. I have to ask if we wouldn’t be smarter to put that money in the classroom, rather than a bloated bureaucracy?
8.If elected, how will you affect the quality of public education in your district?
Like any business or public institution, education needs good leaders. And today that’s more important than ever. Individual legislators can do little to affect education in any particular school District, however they can help put good leaders in decision making roles whether on the local school board or at the Department level; leaders with intelligence, vision, commitment to stay involved, and desire to make Delaware schools the best they can be.
9. Why should voters choose you on Tuesday, September 9?
They should choose me because I have the experience, the knowledge, the integrity, and the passion to do a good job. Like I did when I was first elected, I can still promise honesty, commitment, and accessibility. I also still honor my promises, stand by my word, and do not betray my values. I ask for your vote on November 4th.