Fourth Democratic Senator Is Retiring

Delaware's Tom Carper won't run again, opens way for another Black female senator
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 22, 2023 12:20 PM CDT
Four-Term Democratic Senator Is Retiring
Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., speaks during a news conference in Willmington, Del., Monday, May 22, 2023. Carper announced Monday that he will not seek re-election to a fifth term in the U.S. Senate.   (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Another longtime Democratic senator is retiring, the fourth in this election cycle. Tom Carper of Delaware announced his decision on Monday, reports Politico. The 76-year-old, who serves as chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, first won the seat in 2000, per the Delaware News Journal. He joins fellow Democrats Dianne Feinstein of California, Ben Cardin of Maryland, and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan in deciding to retire. While Democrats already faced a brutal 2024 slate in the Senate, Delaware's seat is thought to be safe for the party.

The leading contender to replace him is Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, who already had expressed interest in running if Carper retired. She is on track to become the Senate's lone Black female senator, filling a void that's been in place since Kamala Harris vacated her seat to become vice president, notes the Hill. "We love Lisa," Carper said, adding that he spoke with her before his announcement. "I said, ‘You’ve been patient, waiting for me to get out of the way and I’m going to get out of the way, and I hope you run and I hope you’ll let me support you in that mission.’ And she said, 'Yes, I will let you support me.' And so I’m going to." (More Tom Carper stories.)

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