Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) announced on Monday that he would not run for reelection in 2024. This will allow someone else to fill the seat following his four-term tenure.
Carper, who is 76 years old, was governor of Delaware for four terms before becoming a Delaware Senator. It is possible that his retirement will lead to a heated primary battle between Democrats for the deep-blue seat. Carper indicated support for a particular successor on Monday.
Carper told a press briefing that “nothing is permanent, but the Delaware Democratic Party has a bench today as strong as I’ve seen in all the years I’ve lived in Delaware.” “If ever there was a time to step down and pass the torch on to the next generations, it is coming. It will be on January 3, 2025.
He added, “But until then, God-willing, I will continue to work 60-hour weeks and come home by train most nights, as long as Martha continues to leave the light on for me.”
Carper claims he spoke to Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.) on Monday and told her he would “get out of the way” so she could run. He told her she had accepted his support, but he refused to reveal whether she planned to run.
Carper is among several Democrats who announced retirement in 2024. In the next election cycle, 34 Senate seats will be at stake – 20 of which are currently held in Democratic hands, 11 by Republicans, and 3 by Independents. Three independent senators are currently in a caucus of Democrats, which means that Democrats must defend 23 out of 34 Senate seats if they want to retain their majority.
Carper’s retirement doesn’t pose a significant risk for the state to turn red. The electorate of the state leans heavily toward Democrats.
Carper’s support for Rochester was expressed on Monday. However, Rochester could face a Democratic opponent in Delaware Governor. John Carney cannot be re-elected in 2024 because of term limits. Carney has not yet announced his plans beyond his current term.
Rochester’s office has not yet responded to our request for comment.