Former Democratic State Rep. Dennis E. Williams has announced his plans to campaign for State Auditor in next year’s election.
The seat has long been held by Republican Tom Wagner.
Williams represented the 10th District in Northeast New Castle County from 2008 to 2014. He lost a primary to Rep. Sean Matthews that year and failed to retake the seat in 2016.
He has accounting experience and currently works as the chief financial officer for Historical Society of Pennsylvania.
Williams also said he’s got the track record of being independent needed the next auditor. He cites challenging former Gov. Jack Markell’s plan to lease the Port of Wilmington to a private operator as an example of his independence from partisan politics.
“I think it’s just really critical to be an independent voice," he said. "And I think it’s also central that whoever fills this role be qualified. That they have an accounting background, a finance background and understands the auditing function as well as private industry and how government works.”
Williams added he would be more proactive than Wagner has been in using the office to find greater budget efficiencies and savings.
“I think that the incumbent auditor has been doing his same job for over 25 years, coming up on 30 years and has not been back out in the public sector to really learn new things, to talk about new things, to understand how you can use technology to improve things,” Williams said.
Tom Wagner has held the state’s auditor position since 1989.
He said he hasn’t decided whether he’ll run again. But, he adds if he doesn’t run for an eighth term, he wants to make sure his successor is serious about being auditor and not just about moving into higher office.