WASHINGTON — Democratic Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware announced Monday that he will not seek a fifth term in the Senate, ending a nearly 50-year career in public office.
Carper revealed his plans during a news conference in Wilmington, saying he decided to “run with tape” after “much prayer and introspection” for the final 20 months of his term.
“I have miles to go and I’m going to make every day count,” he said.
Delaware’s senior senator said he will spend the rest of his time in the Senate promoting clean energy, combating global warming and spurring economic growth, as well as securing the De-Inflation Act, Democrats’ landmark tax, climate and health care packages. is fully implemented.
“If ever there was a good time to step aside and pass the torch to the next generation, it’s coming. In fact, it will be here on January 3, 2025, at noon,” Carper said, adding that one of the greatest privileges of his life has been “so many years. An opportunity to serve the people of the First States of the United States in a variety of roles.”
Carper, 76, is the fourth Democrat to announce he will retire at the end of his term, joining Michigan. Late. Debbie Stabenow, Maryland Sen. Ben CardinAnd California Sen. Dianne Feinstein. His decision not to seek re-election would create an open seat in Delaware for the 2024 election cycle and likely fuel a closely watched race in the Democratic primary. At-large Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester is seen as the favorite to mount a bid to succeed Carper.
The senator said he expects Blunt to run for his seat in Rochester and told reporters he spoke with him Monday morning and offered his support for a possible Senate campaign.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer spoke with Blount Rochester by phone after Carper announced his decision not to seek re-election, a spokesman for the majority leader said, and “told her that he believes she can be a really good senator and that he looks forward to being seated. His Soon.”
Carper began his decades-long career in public service in the late 1960s, serving three tours in Southeast Asia as a naval flight officer during the Vietnam War. He ended his military career in 1991 after more than 20 years of military service.
In 1976, Carper was elected Delaware State Treasurer at age 29 and served three terms. He then represented the state in the US House for five terms, winning a seat in 1982. Carper served two terms as governor of Delaware, beginning in 1993, and mounted a successful bid for the Senate in 2000, at the urging of then-Sen. Joe Biden.
He became Delaware’s senior senator in 2009, when Mr. Biden resigned following his election as vice president. Carper has been elected 14 times to statewide office in Delaware.