Incoming state auditor taking temporary post as primary rival wins back job

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Delaware State Auditor Tom Wagner, who is stepping aside from his office as he awaits a kidney transplant next month, appointed incoming Democrat successorKathleen McGuiness as a deputy auditor, WHYYand other media outlets reported.

James Spadola, a Republican who lost his bid for the auditor’s office to McGuiness, will step down to allow McGuiness to take the temporary post. In a controversial move, Wagner had earlier appointed the fellow Republican to the post

In another twist, Delaware Online (News Journal)reported that McGuiness’ primary opponent Kathleen Davies will retain her position as chief deputy auditor and would presumably work for her opponent.

DelawareOnline/News Journal reported that Davies won back her job in a state personnel hearing after Wagner had dismissed her from the post.

The website-newspaper citeda report that indicated Davies exceeded her authority while filling in for Wagner during his illness, according to a report. A DelawareOnline-News Journalstory on the report, published before the primary, was blamed by the Davies camp as a factor in her loss. The personnel hearing process is not open to the public.

Spadola issued a statement thanking Wagner for naming him, deputy. “I am honored to serve in this capacity,” he wrote. “I am grateful for the opportunity to assist … in a fair and nonpartisan manner.”

McGuiness was part of a female Democratic sweep of statewide offices. In addition to Spadola’s loss, former chief state prosecutor Kathleen Jennings won a landslide victory in the race for Attorney General.

State Treasurer Kenneth Simpler was defeated by Democratic rival Colleen Davis. Davis has been in new news recently after reports of multiple driver’s license suspensions.

The news prompted the Republican State Chairman to call for an investigation. Davis vowed to do better in a Facebook post.

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