Jack Markell

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Jack Markell
Governor of Delaware
In office
January 20, 2009 - Present
Term ends
Years in position 6
PredecessorRuth Ann Minner (D)
Base salary$171,000
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First electedNovember 4, 2008
Next generalNovember 8, 2016
Campaign $$9,098,587
Term limits2 terms
Prior offices
Delaware State Treasurer
1999 - 2009
High schoolNewark High School
Bachelor'sBrown University
Master'sUniversity of Chicago
Date of birthNovember 26, 1960
Place of birthCentreville, Delaware
Office website
Personal website
Campaign website
Jack A. Markell (b. November 26, 1960, in Centerville, DE) is the 73rd and current Democratic Governor of Delaware. He was first elected to the position on November 4, 2008, easily defeating Republican William Swain Lee.[1] He took office January 20, 2009, thus becoming the state's first Jewish governor.

Markell, who previously served three terms as state treasurer, is currently serving his second consecutive term as governor. He recently won re-election in 2012. Markell ran unopposed in the Democratic primary on September 11, 2012 and went on to defeat Jeff Cragg (R) and two third-party challengers in the general election on November 6, 2012.[2]

Before entering politics, Markell had a successful career in business, banking and consulting. Notably, Markell served as Vice President for Corporate Development at Nextel, through which he was credited with coming up with the name “Nextel,” and helping to lead the movement to wireless technology.

As governor, Markell has helped shape and adopt new statewide policies regarding pension reform, school safety, campaign finance reporting and disability services. In late 2012, Markell responded to the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, by rolling out a package of gun-control legislation proposing five measures, two of which were signed into law by June 2013.[3][4] Markell was named to serve on the executive committee of the National Governors Association in August 2013. He, along with eight other governors, determined the organizations's priorities and actions for the following year.[5]

Markell's current term is set to expire in January of 2017. He will not be eligible for re-election in 2016 because Delaware law restricts governors to a lifetime limit of two terms in office.


Markell graduated from Newark High School and Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, with degrees in economics and development studies and received an M.B.A. degree from the University of Chicago.[6]

Markell served as Vice President for Corporate Development at Nextel. 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.[6]


  • B.A. in Economics/Development Studies - Brown University
  • M.B.A. - University of Chicago

Political career

Delaware Governor (2009-Present)

Markell was first elected Delaware Governor in 2008. Markell took the oath of office as the 73rd governor of Delaware on January 20, 2009, becoming the state's first Jewish governor.


Gun control

In the wake of the December 2012 shooting in Newton, Connecticut, Markell proposed a package of gun-control legislation seeking to expand background checks for private gun sales, restrict high capacity magazines and ban assault rifles, prohibit individuals with mental health issues from obtaining a firearm and make it illegal to bring firearms within one thousand feet of school premises.[7][3] Each of the five gun control bills proposed by the Markell administration faced stiff opposition, but two were signed into law by June 2013.[4] One significantly expanded background checks in Delaware on private gun sales, and the other made it mandatory for a gun owner to report a lost or stolen firearm mandatory within seven days of discovering its disappearance.[4][7] The second measure targeted "straw purchases," which law enforcement blamed for providing the two favorite excuses for individuals whose guns are found at the scene of a crime[8]: "I lost that weapon, or that weapon was stolen. We needed to eliminate these excuses," Markell stated.[4]

Job creation ranking

In a June 2013 analysis by The Business Journals, which ranked 45 of the country's 50 governors by their job creation records, Markell was ranked number 32. The five governors omitted from the analysis all assumed office in 2013. The ranking was based on a comparison of the annual private sector growth rate in all 50 states using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.[9][10]

School safety legislation

Markell made instituting school safety plans a priority of his administration, announcing it in his 2011 State of the State address.[11] On September 11, 2012, Markell signed into law a bill creating a formal statewide framework for school safety plans.[12] The bill, Senate Bill 233, the Omnibus School Safety Act, would make Delaware the first state in country with statewide protocol.[12] The bill required the Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security to work with schools, districts and first responders to develop comprehensive, up-to-date safety plans.[12] Each safety plan would be coordinated with law enforcement agencies, fire departments and other first responders in compliance with the National Incident Management System.[12][13] “We want our kids to go as far as their potential will take them but, we can’t control everything. For students to learn to the best of their abilities, they need, first and foremost, to be safe. Our goal is to bring comprehensive school safety plans to every public school and district in our state. This law is an important part of an ambitious, multi-year effort to make our schools and the students in our schools safer," Markell said in a press conference on September 10 after signing the bill.

Disability services

Markell signed two bills in August 2012 providing services for people with hearing and speech disabilities.[14][15] One bill, Senate Bill 248, would provide telecommunications services for the deaf and those with hearing loss or speech disabilities. The other, House Bill 384, updated the Universal Newborn and Infant Hearing Screening Act. The update requires a tracking and intervention protocol when a child has been identified as needing additional hearing services. It also created the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Advisory Board.[15][16]

Campaign finance reform

On August 16, 2012, Markell signed into law three pieces of legislation aimed at increasing transparency and providing greater and more timely information to Delaware voters.[17][18] Effective January 1, 2013, the three laws included House Bill 300, House Bill 310 and Senate Bill 185.[17][17][17] The first major overhaul of Delaware’s campaign finance laws in more than 20 years, HB 300, also known as the Delaware Elections Disclosure Act, closed a "loophole" with campaign advertisements, and mandates prompt reporting of third-party spending on campaign ads.[17][17] The others increased the penalties for late filing of elections disclosure reports from $50 a month to $50 a day and $50 a day for incomplete campaign finance reports and enhanced disclosure requirements for lobbyists.[17]

Public employee pensions

Markell's plan to cut public employee pension and health benefits received overwhelming support from officials within his administration, legislators and even public employee union officials. The proposal, which became law on May 2, 2011, called for new state employees to pay 5% of their salary after the first $6,000 towards their pension, rather than 3%. It also eliminated the use of overtime when calculating pensions and the "double state share" health care benefit. According to the governor's office, the plan would save Delaware taxpayers $130 million over the next five years and $480 million over the next fifteen.[19][20]

Same-sex marriage

On April 8, 2013, Markell spoke in support of same-sex marriage legislation at the University of Delaware Trabant center. “If you promise to do your part and to assure that the marriage equality bill reaches my desk this year, I make a promise to you. I will sign it,” the governor stated.[21]

Three days later Markell held a press conference to announce the introduction of a bill to legalize same-sex marriage.[22]

Clean water initiative

Markell supported an annual fee on Delaware businesses and households to pay for a waterway clean-up plan for the state. The fees reportedly would raise $30 million annually and would be collected through property taxes at the county level.[23]

Delaware Treasurer (1999-2009)

Markell was first elected Treasurer of Delaware in 1998, unseating Republican incumbent Janet C. Rzewnicki, and was re-elected in 2002 and 2006.

Information technology

In 2001, then-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 has also led the “Health Rewards” initiative which offers Delaware state government employees with 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.

Financial Literacy Initiatives

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 has partnered with the University of Delaware, Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship, as well as leading Delaware banks, to teach young children the basics of money and savings.

On The Issues Vote Match

Jack Markell's Vote Match results from On The Issues.
See also: On The Issues Vote Match

On The Issues conducts a VoteMatch analysis of elected officials based on 20 issue areas. Rather than relying on incumbents to complete the quiz themselves, the VoteMatch analysis is conducted using voting records, statements to the media, debate transcripts or citations from books authored by or about the candidate. Based on the results of the quiz, Markell is a Moderate Liberal Populist. Markell received a score of 43 percent on social issues and 34 percent on economic issues.Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; refs with no content must have a name

On The Issues organization logo.

The table below contains the results of analysis compiled by staff at On The Issues.

On The Issues Vote Quiz[24]
Economic Issues Social Issues
Issue Stance Issue Stance
Legally require hiring women & minorities Unknown Abortion is a woman's unrestricted right Unknown
Expand ObamaCare Strongly Favors Comfortable with same-sex marriage Strongly Favors
Vouchers for school choice Opposes Keep God in the public sphere Unknown
Absolute right to gun ownership Opposes Human needs over animal rights Opposes
Higher taxes on the wealthy Opposes Stricter punishment reduces crime Favors
Support & expand free trade Favors Pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens Unknown
Stricter limits on political campaign funds Favors Maintain US sovereignty from UN Unknown
Prioritize green energy Favors Expand the military Favors
Stimulus better than market-led recovery Strongly Favors Stay out of Iran Unknown
Privatize Social Security Opposes Never legalize marijuana Neutral
Note: Information last updated: June 23, 2014.[25] If you notice the rating has changed, email us.



See also: Delaware gubernatorial election, 2012

Markell won re-election to the governor's office in 2012 on the Democratic ticket.[26][2] The primary election was held on September 11, 2012, and the general election was on November 6, 2012. Markell ran unopposed in the Democratic primary on September 11, 2012.

Governor of Delaware General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngJack Markell Incumbent 69.3% 275,993
     Republican Jeff Cragg 28.6% 113,793
     Libertarian Jesse McVay 0.9% 3,668
     Green Mark Joseph Perri 1.1% 4,575
Total Votes 398,029
Election Results via Delaware Board of Elections.


Markell was endorsed by the Barbara Gittings Delaware Stonewall Democrats.[27]

Campaign finance

Roughly $1 million, or about 52 percent of the $1.9 million raised for Markell's governor’s campaign between January 2011 and October 2012 came from outside the state.[28] According to his campaign finance reports, in 2011 and 2012 about $964,500, or less than half of the money raised by Markell’s campaign, came from Delaware contributors, including $75,000 from the state Democratic Party.[28]

More than 18 percent, or $368,300 – came from more than 560 donors in Pennsylvania, with nearly $112,000 coming from Maryland and $257,750, roughly 13 percent, from donors in New York and New Jersey.[28] Markell's campaign finance reports also show money for his campaign coming from Alabama, Maine, Colorado, Montana, and one donor from Japan.[28]

Markell’s fundraising for the 2012 campaign differed from the 2008 race, when reportedly 60 percent of the more than $4 million he raised came from businesses and individual donors in Delaware.[28]


On November 4, 2008, Markell easily defeated Republican William Swain Lee to win the general election.[29]

Delaware Governor, 2008
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngJack Markell 67.5% 266,861
     Republican William Swain Lee 32% 126,662
     Blue Enigma Jeffrey Brown 0.4% 1,681
Total Votes 395,204
  • Primary
Delaware Governor Democratic Primary, 2008
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngJack Markell 51.2% 37,849
John Carney 48.8% 36,112
Total Votes 73,961


On November 7, 2006, Markell easily won re-election as state treasurer.[30]

Delaware State Treasurer, 2008
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngJack Markell 70.5% 174,388
     Republican Esthelda R. Parker Selby 29.5% 73,005
Total Votes 247,393

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Markell is available dating back to 2002. Based on available campaign finance records, Markell raised a total of $9,098,587 during that time period. This information was last updated on July 8, 2013.[31]

Jack Markell's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 Governor of Delaware Won $2,185,748
2010 Governor of Delaware Not up for election $237,450
2008 Governor of Delaware* Won $3,751,960
2008 Delaware Treasurer Not up for election $441,164
2006 Delaware Treasurer Won $973,710
2004 Delaware Treasurer Not up for election $1,018,373
2002 Delaware Treasurer Won $490,182
Grand Total Raised $9,098,587
*In 2008, Markell reported raising $3,751,960 for the Governor's race, which he won, and $441,164 for a Treasurer's race, since he could have run for a fourth term.


Markell won re-election to the position of Governor of Delaware in 2012. During that election cycle, Markell raised a total of $2,185,748.

2002, 2006 and 2008

Ballotpedia collects information on campaign donors for each year in which a candidate or incumbent is running for election. The following table offers a breakdown of Jack Markell's donors each year.[32] Click [show] for more information.


Markell is married to Carla Markell, whom he met while attending Newark High School. They have two children, Molly and Michael. The Markell family lives in Wilmington, Delaware.[6]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Jack + Markell + Delaware + Governor"

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

Jack Markell News Feed

  • Loading...

Contact information

Dover Office
Tatnall Building
William Penn Street, 2nd Fl.
Dover, DE 19901

Telephone: (302) 744-4101
Fax: (302) 739-2775

See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. State of Delaware, "2008 general election results," accessed December 10, 2011
  2. 2.0 2.1 Delaware State Board of Elections, "General Election Results 2012" accessed November 6, 2012
  3. 3.0 3.1 USA Today, "Where each state stands on gun-control legislation," January 14, 2013
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 WBOC "Del. Governor: Passing Two of Five Gun Bills Likely it for Now" accessed June 14, 2013
  5. National Governors Association, NGA Announces New Executive Committee Leadership, August 4, 2013
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Governor of Delaware, "Governor Jack Markell Biography," accessed July 30, 2014
  7. 7.0 7.1 Delmarva Public Radio, "Delaware Governor Signs Last of Gun Control Laws" accessed June 14, 2013
  8. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named opposing
  9. The Business Journals, "Governors and jobs: How governors rank for job creation in their states," June 27, 2013
  10. The Business Journals, "How state governors rank on their job-growth record," June 27, 2013
  11. Office of the Governor, "Governor Moves Forward with School Safety Plans Focused on Prevention, Protection, Response and Recovery" accessed September 13, 2012
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Office of Governor, "Governor Signs SB 233, Omnibus School Safety Act" accessed September 13, 2012
  13. WBOC "Delaware Eyes Comprehensive School Safety Plans" accessed September 13, 2012
  14. ABC WPVI "Del. governor to sign deaf services bill" accessed August 14, 2012
  15. 15.0 15.1 The Republic, "Delaware governor signs bills providing services for the hearing and speech impaired" accessed August 14, 2012
  16. Delaware.gov, "Governor Signs Two Bills Helping Those with Hearing Loss" accessed August 14, 2012
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.4 17.5 17.6 Office of Governor, "Governor Signs First Major Update to Delaware Campaign Finance Laws in more than 20 Years" accessed August 28, 2012
  18. Delaware Online, "You can fund, but you can't hide in Delaware" accessed August 28, 2012
  19. Office of the Governor of Delaware, "Markell Thanks Legislature for Overwhelming Votes of Support for Employee Pension and Healthcare Reform – Changes Will Save Taxpayers over $480M over 15 years," April 14, 2011
  20. Stateline, "States overhaul pensions but pass on 401(k)-style plans," June 21, 2011
  21. Delaware Online, "Markell on gay marriage: 'It can happen here in Delaware'," April 8, 2013
  22. Reuters, "Delaware becomes latest state to take up gay marriage," April 11, 2013
  23. Delmarva Public Radio, "Delaware Clean Water Initiative Failing to Get Legislative Support," April 16, 2014
  24. The questions in the quiz are broken down into two sections -- social and economic. In social questions, liberals and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while conservatives and populists agree in choosing the more restrictive answers. For the economic questions, conservatives and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while liberals and populists agree in choosing the more restrictive answers.
  25. On The Issues, "Jack Markell Vote Match," accessed June 23, 2014
  26. Delaware Elections 2012 "Candidate List," accessed August 11, 2012
  27. Barbara Gittings Delaware Stonewall Democrats, "Endorsed Candidates" accessed September 5, 2012
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 28.4 Delaware Online, "Out-of-state donors pad Markell's funds" accessed October 16, 2012
  29. State of Delaware, "2008 general election results," accessed December 10, 2011
  30. State of Delaware, "2006 general election results," accessed December 10, 2011
  31. Follow the Money, "Career financing for Jack Markell," accessed July 8, 2013
  32. Follow the Money.org, "Home," accessed February 17, 2015
Political offices
Preceded by
Ruth Ann Minner (D)
Governor of Delaware
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Janet Rzewnicki
Delaware State Treasurer
Succeeded by
Velda Jones-Potter