Treasurer Davis to run for Congress
WILMINGTON – Delaware State Treasurer Colleen Davis announced this week that she will run for the state’s lone House of Representatives seat, setting up a contested 2024 Democratic primary to replace incumbent Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester.
Davis, a rare statewide official from Sussex County who was first elected in 2018, will face State Sen. Sarah McBride (D-Wilmington), who has already announced her own campaign for Congress and raised a significant sum of campaign funding.
They could also see Delaware State Housing Authority Director Eugene Young enter the race as early as Monday, as he has scheduled an event to “discuss his future plans” with supporters in Wilmington. The former mayoral candidate has expressed his interest in running for the office.
While state treasurer is a little-discussed elected role tasked with managing the state’s investments, banking services and debt management programs, it has been a springboard to higher office. Both former governors Carper and Jack Markell started as state treasurer.
In her campaign announcement, Davis emphasized her family story.
One of eight children growing up, she recounted how her father’s company fell victim to fraud and went bankrupt, leading to a long and difficult childhood. Davis paid her way through college by driving an ambulance.
“When I was a little girl, my dad’s business went bankrupt and my family lost our home and possessions, all the way down to my dollhouse. We moved to Delaware to start over, and went from rental home to rental home and school to school, and through the kindness of neighbors, teachers and parents, we got through,” she said. That struggle doesn’t define me, but it has driven me to help prevent other families from falling through the cracks.”
Now a mom of three and a former physician assistant in neurosurgery and obstetrics, Davis said “we need more representatives in Congress who come from the working class and are focused on fighting for families.”
As treasurer, Davis’s biggest accomplishments include working to expand residents’ ability to save for retirement through the creation of the Delaware EARNS program – a state-facilitated, universally available retirement savings plan; expanding ABLE accounts that are tax-advantaged accounts to care for people with disabilities; and increasing banking across underprivileged and vulnerable communities through her support of the Banking Desert Initiative.
She has also helped maintain Delaware’s AAA bond rating and increase return on the state’s investments by more than $58 million.
“Serving as Delaware’s Treasurer has meant fighting for hardworking families, seniors and the vulnerable, to help keep them safe and secure. Now I’m running for Congress because we need leaders who know what families go through, who will protect our fundamental rights and fight for our children’s future,” she said.
Davis will start the race at a significant fundraising disadvantage compared to McBride, however, with less than $20,000 in state campaign funds able to be transferred to her national campaign, according to her year-end 2022 report. Meanwhile, McBride has raised more than $400,000 in just a few days while carrying a national profile as potentially the first transgender member of Congress.