by Terry Rogers
On Friday, February 2, Representative Dave Wilson filed to run for the 18th Senatorial District seat currently held by Senator Gary Simpson. Representative Wilson indicated that he decided to run for the seat because Senator Simpson has indicated he would retire at the end of this term.
“I have spoken to Senator Simpson and told him about my intentions,” Representative Wilson said. “The transition to the Senate is a natural one. I have been honored to represent the people of the 35th District for the last ten years and I look forward to continue serving many of them in the Senate. As a small businessman with a combined 20-years of public service at the county and state levels. I think I can bring a high-level of experience and effectiveness to the Senate, should the people of the district place their faith in me.”
Representative Wilson is a native of Sussex County, graduating from Milford High School and becoming an auctioneer in 1966. He and his wife of 47 years, Carolyn, opened Wilson’s Auction Sales, Inc. in 1975 and also breed Haflinger horses. He previously served as the Sussex county Register of Chancery and the Sussex County Register of Wills. Representative Wilson currently serves on the Agriculture, Capital Infrastructure, Corrections, Judiciary, Public Safety & Homeland Security as well as Veterans Affairs and the Joint Committee on Capital Improvement. This year, he has sponsored legislation to restore Grant-in-Aid funding that was eliminated during the 2017-18 budget process as well as opposing the FCC repeal of Net Neutrality rules.
“I understand that my decision will impact others and I felt an obligation to be open and honest about my intentions,” Representative Wilson said. “I wanted to toss my hat into the ring early so that everyone involved was aware of what I was doing. The Senator has held this seat for 20 years and if he was not retiring, I would not consider running.”
Senator Simpson released a statement that said he had told Representative Wilson and a few others of his plan to retire and that he would announce those intentions when the General Assembly returned in March. His statement indicated he was “disappointed” he was unable to announce his retirement on his own terms. Representative Wilson stated that Senator Simpson’s retirement had circulated for months and he did not think he was revealing any secrets when he announced his intention to run.
Senator Simpson is the Minority Leader in the Senate, sitting on the Agriculture, Executive, as well as the Rules & Ethics committee. He is also a member of the Legislative Council. In 2011, Senator Simpson retired from the University of Delaware. Prior to his employment with the University, Senator Simpson was the general manager of the Delaware State Fair. The Senator said that he decided to run for Senate while working at the University of Delaware and had experience working with the legislature as part of his position. He felt the Senate would be a challenge for him since he had held leadership roles in other areas of his life. The Senator holds a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science from the University of Delaware. He is married to his wife, Debbie, and currently lives in Milford.
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