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Jack Markell

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Jack Markell

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Jack A. Markell

Assumed office 
January 20, 2009
Preceded by Ruth Ann Minner

In office
January 16, 1999 – January 20, 2009
Preceded by Janet C. Rzewnicki
Succeeded by Velda Jones-Potter

Born November 26, 1960 (1960-11-26) (age 49)
Newark, Delaware
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Carla Markell
Residence Centreville, Delaware
Alma mater University of Chicago (M.B.A.)
Brown University (A.B.)
Occupation corporate executive
Religion Jewish
Jack A. Markell (born November 26, 1960) is an American businessman and politician from Centerville, in New Castle County, Delaware. He is a member of the Democratic Party who served as State Treasurer of Delaware and is the current Governor of Delaware. Now in his first term, he is the state's first Jewish governor. On December 2, 2009, it was announced that Markell would follow Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer as Chair of the Democratic Governors Association for the 2009-2010 term.



[edit] Early life and family

Markell grew up in Newark, Delaware, and graduated from Newark High School and Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, earning degrees in economics and development studies and receiving an MBA degree from the University of Chicago. As a child, he attended Camp Galil, a summer camp in the Labor Zionist youth movement, Habonim Dror.[1] He is married to Carla Markell, and has two children, Molly and Michael.

[edit] Professional and political career

Markell served as Vice President for Corporate Development at Nextel, and helped to lead the movement to wireless technology. His other work experience included a senior management position at Comcast Corporation as well as posts as a consultant at McKinsey and Company, Inc. and as a banker at First Chicago Corporation.

[edit] Treasurer of Delaware

Markell was first elected State Treasurer of Delaware in 1998, unseating four-term Republican incumbent Janet C. Rzewnicki, and was re-elected in 2002 and 2006.
As State Treasurer, Markell led the development of several educational efforts in personal financial management, known collectively as "the Financial Literacy initiatives." He created the Delaware Money School, which offers free classes to Delawareans throughout the year on topics such as saving for college and retirement planning. He also began the “Delaware Bank at School Program” which takes banks and financial education to schools. In a third program, he partnered with the University of Delaware, Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship, as well as several Delaware banks, to teach young children the basics of money and savings.
In 2001 Governor Ruth Ann Minner chose Markell to chair the Information Services Task Force, which developed and implemented recommendations to modify the state's management of information technology. In 2002 he led an effort to streamline and coordinate the procurement of goods and services while using state-of-the-art purchasing techniques. He also led the “Health Rewards” initiative, which offers Delaware state government employees comprehensive physical assessments, detailed statistics about how their health compares with their peers across the country, and recommendations about how they can improve their health.

[edit] 2008 Gubernatorial campaign

On June 6, 2007, Markell officially launched his candidacy for Governor of Delaware, setting up a primary with Lt. Governor John Carney. Markell raised 1.5 million dollars in contributions from almost 3000 individuals. Beginning in the summer of 2007, Markell released fourteen policy papers on issues ranging from energy to health care to education.
Markell won a come-from-behind victory over Carney, with 51.2% of the vote, on the September 9th Primary.[2] The General Election was rather uneventful, with Markell facing 2004 Republican Nominee and former Judge William Swain Lee. Markell defeated Lee by more than 25%.

[edit] Governor of Delaware

According to The News Journal, the installation ceremony was held in the middle of the night to comply with the requirements of the state constitution that the governor be inaugurated on the third Tuesday of January and to allow Delawareans to enjoy the historic event that would occur later that day: the inauguration of President Barack Obama, and his vice president, Delaware’s Joseph R. Biden, Jr. A traditional swearing-in ceremony was held the following day on Legislative Mall in Dover, Delaware.[3]
Markell entered office with an unprecedented budget challenge, [4] facing a deficit of almost $800,000,000. One of his first actions was to cut his own salary by 20%. Markell announced his plan to balance the budget, a Constitutionally mandated action, in March of 2009. Avoiding lay-offs, the Governor's plan included an 8% pay cut for state employees, legalization and taxation of sports betting, over $200 million worth of cuts, and revenue enhancements on such things as liquor and tobacco.[5]
After failing to obtain an initial majority in the state House of Representatives, the Markell's sports betting proposal was approved on a second vote in May of 2009. Legislation legalizing sports betting was quickly approved by the state Senate and signed by the Governor. Initial estimates of revenue for the state from sports betting were between 50 and 60 million dollars. Current revenues estimates are lower following a decision by the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals banning single game bets.[6]
Following late night budget negotiations at Legislative Hall, a compromise budget was passed by the General Assembly and signed by the Governor at 4 AM on July 1st, avoiding a budget crisis and government shut-down.[7] Several states in similar circumstances were unable to meet their budget deadlines and were forced to cut or close down many government offices and programs.
Following through on several campaign promises early in his term, the Governor signed energy legislation which aims to reduce Delaware's energy consumption by 15% by 2015, updating building codes, and mandating that renewable energy be considered first when expanding supplies. [8] Markell also approved legislation banning discrimination based on sexual orientation in housing, insurance and employment, ending a ten-year battle.[9]
Markell proposed and signed major educational reform initiatives, including abolishing the controversial Delaware Student Testing Program (DSTP), establishing a pilot program to reward improving schools, and passing legislation to improve transparency and autonomy within school districts.[10]
In addition to reduced state revenue, the current economic environment has driven rising unemployment. In response, Markell initiated several economic development initiatives, including the LIFT Program, meant to ensure the survival and growth of small businesses.[11]
Markell’s administration has emphasized the need to combine business expertise with the advantages of a small state: the ability to respond rapidly and flexibly to opportunities and close-knit, cross-sector communities. This has been especially apparent in response to several serious challenges, including the shutdown of Chrysler’s plant in Newark and the closure of GM’s plant in Wilmington.
Governor Markell facilitated the acquisition of the Newark Chrysler plant by the University of Delaware (UD) to build a research and technology campus that may generate both employment and local innovation. UD President Patrick Harker has stated: “Our goal over time is to construct high performance facilities that support the University's Climate Action Plan and restore portions of the land and natural features.”[12]
Following the closure of the GM plant in July 2009, Markell and his team pursued Fisker Automotive. Although in competition with several other states, a deal was signed to reopen the facility after just over two months of negotiations. Fisker will invest a minimum of US$ 175 million in upgrading the plant. Production of hybrid sedans will begin as early as 2011 for the domestic market as well as for export through the Port of Wilmington. Fisker anticipates that the process will create approximately 2,500 jobs and contribute to Delaware’s effort to compete in the “green economy.”[13]
Delaware General Assembly
(sessions while Governor)
Year Assembly
Senate Majority President
pro tempore

House Majority Speaker
2009-2010 145th
Democratic Anthony J. DeLuca
Democratic Robert F. Gilligan

[edit] Almanac

Elections are held the Tuesday after the first Monday in November. The Governor and State Treasurer take office the third Tuesday of January and each has a four-year term.

Public Offices
Office Type Location Began office Ended office notes
Treasurer Executive Dover January 16, 1999 January 18, 2003
Treasurer Executive Dover January 18, 2003 January 16, 2007
Treasurer Executive Dover January 16, 2007 January 20, 2009

Election results
Year Office Election
Subject Party Votes %
Opponent Party Votes %
1998 Treasurer General
Jack A. Markell Democratic 103,407 58%
Janet C. Rzewnicki Republican 74,633 42%
2002 Treasurer General
Jack A. Markell Democratic 147,390 66%
Ronald G. Poliquin Republican 75,344 34%
2006 Treasurer General
Jack A. Markell Democratic 174,382 70.5%
Esthelda R. Parker-Selby Republican 73,003 29.5%
2008 Governor Primary
Jack A. Markell Democratic 37,849 51.2%
John C. Carney, Jr. Democratic 36,112 48.8%
2008 Governor General
Jack A. Markell Democratic 266,858 67.5%
William Swain Lee Republican 126,660 32.0%

[edit] Notes

  1. ^ Tepper, Rachel (August 27, 2009). "Ron Bloom: Car Czar in the Labor Zionist Tradition". Baltimore Jewish Times. Retrieved 2009-08-29. 
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[edit] References

[edit] External links

[edit] Places with more information

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