Statements on Carper’s Retirement Announcement

Senate President Pro Tempore Dave Sokola, Senate Majority Leader Bryan Townsend, and Senate Majority Whip Elizabeth “Tizzy” Lockman issued a joint statement today regarding U.S. Sen. Tom Carper’s announcement that he plans to retire at the end of his current term: 

“For more than five decades, Tom Carper has served our state and our nation with distinction. 

His tireless dedication and infectious spirit have improved the lives of countless Delawareans across every corner of our state. From the redevelopment of the Wilmington Riverfront, the creation of the First State National Historic Park and the protection of our beaches and inland bays to his work as a champion of the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Post Office and American infrastructure. 

As a U.S. Navy veteran, a former state treasurer, a former U.S. Congressman, a recovering governor, as he liked to say, and nearly a quarter century as our U.S. Senator, Tom Carper’s accomplishments are almost too numerous to count, his impact on Delaware too enormous to fathom, and his legacy too great to fully comprehend. 

Today, as we reflect on a career unlike any other, we are eternally grateful for Sen. Carper’s leadership, his friendship and, perhaps most of all, his endless enthusiasm for helping the people of Delaware.” 

Delaware Democratic Party Chair Betsy Maron has released the following statement regarding Senator Tom Carper’s retirement announcement.

“First and foremost, I want to thank Senator Carper for his years of service to the State of Delaware and to our party. For over forty years he has been committed to serving the First State and hundreds of thousands who call it home. From his early days as State Treasurer to today, Senator Carper has helped shape an entire era of Delaware’s politics and policymaking.     

“Tom Carper’s influence on the Delaware Democratic Party is unrivaled. Whether he was advocating for Democratic issues in the halls of government, building our local committees, or developing talent, Senator Carper’s work will leave a lasting legacy on our party. I struggle to think of a Delaware Democrat that has not been influenced by Tom Carper in some way shape or form. 

“In 2024 we plan to continue Tom Carper’s legacy of Democratic leadership by maintaining this Senate seat. With a razor-thin majority in the U.S. Senate, it is of the utmost importance that Democrats not cede any ground to Republicans in 2024. As a state party, we plan to do our part to ensure President Biden has allies he can rely upon in the Senate.” 

Delaware Secretary of State Jeff Bullock issued a statement following Senator Tom Carper’s decision to not seek reelection in 2024:

“Tom Carper has literally bent the arch of Delaware history. Everywhere you look up and down our state, Tom Carper has had an impact. His body of work is unprecedented, and it continues to grow, touching the lives of every Delawarean and improving our quality of life. Tom Caper’s impact has been historic, his contributions to Delaware are second to none, and his legacy to our state will be felt for generations to come.

I started my public service with Tom Carper as a 22-year-old intern. Over the next 17 years, I had the opportunity to serve as his chief of staff in the U.S. House, the U.S. Senate, and for most of his time as governor. Governor John Carney, Senator Chris Coons, and Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester, and many other leaders in government and business share important parts of their life stories with Tom Carper.  

He has been an incredible friend and mentor to us all, and I am forever grateful for his leadership.”

Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.), issued the following statement following the announcement that Senator Tom Carper will not be running for reelection.  

“I still remember standing on the steps of the Capitol as an intern with then-Congressman Tom Carper. It was his service that helped inspire a journey I could have hardly imagined – as I would go on to serve as his staffer, cabinet member, and eventually, colleague in the United States Congress. 

“It would be impossible to even partially capture the astounding accomplishments that Senator Carper compiled in his over four decades of service to our state and nation. From serving our nation as a Naval Flight Officer in Vietnam, to getting Delaware its first AAA bond rating as our treasurer, fighting the dumping of sludge into our waterways as our Congressman, ushering in an unprecedented period of economic vitality as our Governor, and being on the frontlines of the battle against the climate crisis as our Senator – the list is as long as it is impressive. 

“For all of those accomplishments, perhaps the thing that will resonate with most Delawareans were the personal moments they spent with Senator Carper – a passing word in the morning at the YMCA, a handshake at the state fair, an excited high five at the Blue Rocks game. That’s because Senator Carper was always more interested in attending a local Sunday service than doing the Sunday shows, more interested in hearing from his constituents in person than getting clicks online, and more interested in the happenings of the day in Delaware than D.C. 

“No one put more miles in than Tom Carper. No one worked harder for Delaware than Tom Carper. And I’m thrilled that he’ll now get to spend more time with Martha and his wonderful sons. After all, I know that the titles of husband and father have always meant more to him than Senator. 

“To me, this is Tom Carper’s legacy. That he deeply loved our state of neighbors. That he worked tirelessly every single day to make it a better place. And that in his endeavor, he succeeded.” 

n response to U.S. Sen. Tom Carper’s announcement Monday that he will not seek re-election, House Democratic Caucus leadership – House Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf, House Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst and House Majority Whip Melissa Minor-Brown – issued the following joint statement:

“There isn’t a corner of Delaware or a person involved in politics who hasn’t been affected in some way by Tom Carper. Beginning his career more than 45 years ago as State Treasurer, Sen. Carper has been a leader, champion and cheerleader for the First State, both at home and in Washington, D.C.

“Throughout his historic career in politics, Sen. Carper has always put Delaware first, evidenced by his years-long fight to rectify the injustice of Delaware being the only state to not have a national park. The First State National Historical Park is just one example of Sen. Carper delivering for Delaware, with the Wilmington Riverfront, record investments during his time as governor, numerous beach replenishments, bridge repairs along the C&D Canal, securing significant federal funding for various projects throughout the state, and countless other accomplishments adding to his legacy.

“It’s difficult to find a politician – of either party – or political staffer who hasn’t directly or indirectly been in Sen. Carper’s orbit or influenced by him. Our state is richer for having had Tom Carper serving it. While we’re saddened by his decision to retire, we’re happy that he is writing the conclusion to his own political story, and we wish him well in the next chapter of his life.”

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

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