Posted: April 20, 2004

New Castle County Council President Chris Coons announced his candidacy for County Executive on Monday, sharing his vision for a county government that is grounded in ethical leadership, operational excellence, and fiscal responsibility.


Coons, who has served as County Council President for the past four years, said, “Our county is at an important crossroads. The significant challenges we face, such as managing growth while preserving our quality of life, and creating good jobs and providing needed services while keeping taxes low require experienced and ethical leadership. I am the candidate who has the background, the values, and the skills to serve the residents of this county best going forward.”


His announcement was held at four sites throughout New Castle County: the Middletown Senior Center, the Delaware History Museum in downtown Wilmington, and the Claymont Fire Hall. The day’s events ended with a fund-raiser and rally at Stewart’s Brewing Company in Bear.


“New Castle County has many different communities with diverse interests and concerns, yet all our citizens want and deserve a government that will help provide them with safe neighborhoods, good jobs, and low taxes,” Coons said. “They also want public service delivered in an ethical, responsible manner,” he added.


“Your tax dollars should be spent wisely and with an appropriate public purpose,” he said. “I will lead our county government into a more positive working relationship with our towns, city and state governments, and with our local schools and community organizations, to help deliver the results our communities – our children, working families, and seniors -- really need.”


As County Council president, Coons worked to encourage redevelopment of abandoned and polluted properties, to support new libraries and parks and preserve existing programs for seniors and the arts, and to adopt fiscally responsible measures that have kept tax increases in check.


Coons also fought for issues related to ethics. “I led the hiring of a qualified and independent county auditor, I helped revive our county ethics commission and get them the resources they need to be effective, and I fought against authorizing retroactive legal fees for county leaders who are under investigation,” said Coons. “I was also successful in introducing and getting passed the Whistleblower Protection Act, which allows county workers to either report or refuse to obey an illegal or unethical order without fear of losing their jobs or being demoted.”


Coons said, “While I am proud of my record, there is much more to be done. New Castle County faces significant challenges. I have the experience and the integrity to make sure that county government is not only run well, but run right.”


An attorney for W.L. Gore & Associates in Newark, Coons holds a J.D. from Yale Law School and a Master’s in Ethics from Yale Divinity School. He is a past recipient of the Governor’s Outstanding Volunteer Award, a board member of the United Way of Delaware and the Triangle Neighborhood Association, and is the co-founder of the Delaware “I Have a Dream” Foundation.


Coons grew up in New Castle County and currently lives in Wilmington with his wife, Annie, and their three young children, Michael, Jack and Maggie.