Sen. Tom Carper announces he won’t seek reelection

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DOVER, Del. – Senator Tom Carper of Delaware announced Monday morning that he will not seek reelection to a 5th term in the U.S. Senate.

This announcement paves the way for a contest for the seat that Carper has held since 2001 in the state. It also ensures that his unblemished record of never having lost an election during more than four decades in politics remains intact.

“If I ran for a fifth term in the Senate and won, it would be a record 15 statewide elections. After a good deal of prayer and introspection, and more than a few heart-to-heart conversations, we’ve decided we should run through the tape over the next 20 months and finish the important work that my staff and I have begun on a wide range of fronts, many of them begun in partnership with Democrat and Republican colleagues in the Senate and in the House,” said Carper, 76.

He is one of several incumbent senators who have announced they will not seek reelection this year, including Maryland’s Ben Cardin.

Carper says his focus over the next year and a half will be helping to ensure the implementation of environmental provisions in the 2021 infrastructure law and the Inflation Reduction Act.

Carper served five terms in the U.S. House and two terms as governor before being elected to the Senate in 2000. He began his political career as state treasurer in Delaware. In the Senate, he built a reputation as a moderate Democrat with a strong interest in environmental issues, in addition to helping lead efforts to shore up the financially struggling U.S. Postal Service. His last election win came in 2018, when he defeated Republican challenger Rob Arlett, who had been Donald Trump’s state campaign chair in 2016.

Senator Chris Coons released the following statement on Carper’s announcement:

“Tom Carper isn’t just a colleague and a friend, he is a steady, significant leader who has shaped Delaware over decades. Across his more than 50 years of service to our state and nation, he never stopped focusing on economic development, and despite his substantial accomplishments in the Senate, he’s never stopped thinking as a governor — focused on working across the aisle, solving complex problems, and making a lasting difference. Famous for his tireless energy and determination, he set the standard for active engagement and responsive service. As Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, Senator Carper has protected our lands and waterways and played an instrumental role in the passage of both the landmark, bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act.

“Tom Carper has also mentored a generation of Delaware leaders. From my first race for County Council President, he has encouraged and supported my career in service, acting as a source of advice and encouragement when I needed it most, and as a role model for balancing family and service.

“I look forward to serving together for the remainder of this Congress and to supporting my colleague as he decides on the next chapter in life’s adventure. Annie and I want to express our gratitude to Tom and Martha for their friendship and service, and we wish them and their family all the best in the years to come.”

Governor John Carney released the following statement:

“Senator Carper is an institution in our state – and a servant leader who has always put the interests of Delaware families first. He has been a tireless advocate for Delaware. And in a time of increasing divisiveness, Senator Carper continues to work across the aisle to find common ground and get things done.

I was fortunate to serve on then-Governor Carper’s staff, and in his cabinet. For me, the Senator has been a friend, a mentor, and a constant source of good advice. And I know I’m not alone in that respect. Throughout his time in Congress, as Governor, and his four terms in the U.S. Senate, he mentored countless public officials who came behind him.

Senator Carper is one-of-a kind. His leadership in Washington will be sorely missed – but I’m confident he’ll find ways to stay involved for the good of our state.”

Categories: Delaware, Local News, Local Politics