Now that Radical Compliance is looking into it, we’ve found another compliance professional running for public office this year: Gene Truono, seeking the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in Delaware.
Truono worked in compliance roles at PayPal from 2011 into 2016, including nearly two years as chief compliance officer. Prior to that he worked at Navigant and BDO as a consultant, and spent several years in the 2000s as chief compliance officer for American Express Bank Ltd. He left the corporate grind in 2016 to care for an ailing parent, and then launched his Senate campaign earlier this year.
Truono is the third ethics and compliance professional I’ve found seeking office in 2018, along with Luke Brussel running for a judgeship in New York and Richard Painter running for Senate in Minnesota.
The Republican primary will happen on Sept. 6. Truono is running against a local politician, Rob Arlett, who also ran President Trump’s campaign in Delaware in 2016. In contrast, Truono does not even mention Trump on his campaign website.
Instead, Truono takes the more traditional, less shrill Republican stances on various issues: “pragmatic patient-focused reforms” for healthcare; cut spending to rein in debt (“It would be impossible for Washington to tax their way out of debt,” he says, making me wonder where he lived in the 1990s when we did exactly that); supports existing gun laws rather than creating new ones; and so forth.
One notable item: Truono does talk about the importance of civility in public discourse. From his website:
[Truono] stresses the importance of transparency and accountability in order to impart trust in elected officials. He believes that people can respectfully disagree on policy while still treating each other with respect and dignity. He believes that listening to and learning about all sides of an issue leads to better informed and more effective policy and legislation.
To me, that polite and thoughtful view shares some DNA with chief compliance officers, who depend on transparency and cooperation across large organizations to do their jobs. Then again, Truono is also openly gay, and that’s gotta be hard with so many evangelical, intolerant strains running through the Republican Party today. Maybe his talk of civility stems from that, too.
None of this is to say that Truono has a strong shot at winning in November. First he needs to dispatch his Trumpian opponent, Arlett, in the September primary. Even if he does that, Truono will still face Democratic incumbent Sen. Tom Carper in November. Carper is one of Delaware’s most well-known politicians, in a state that already favors Democrats anyway. So Truono faces an uphill battle no matter what.
According to OpenSecrets.org, Truono raised $132,000 so far in the campaign, and had only $29,600 in cash on hand as of earlier this spring. Compare that to Carper, who has raised $2.3 million and was last seen sitting on $968,000 in cash. Radical Compliance will continue to look for compliance officers running for public office this year. (If you know of one, let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.) The more, the merrier.