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Democratic Senator Tom Carper says he won’t run again in 2024


Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., announced Monday that he will not seek re-election next year after more than 20 years in the Senate.

At a news conference announcing his retirement, Carper said he decided not to run for office after “much prayer and soul-searching, and more than a few heart-to-heart conversations” with his wife, Martha.

“We decided … that I should walk the strip over the next 20 months and complete the important work that my staff and I started on a wide range of fronts,” Carper said.

Carper, 76, has served in the Senate since 2001. He previously served as Delaware governor, congressman and state treasurer.

While in the Senate, Carper served as chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee. He also helped craft key provisions of the Affordable Care Act, as well as the bipartisan Infrastructure Act that President Joe Biden signed into law in 2021.

The longtime Delaware senator was named this month to the National Advisory Council for Biden’s Reelection Campaign, a group of top surrogates. Carper endorsed Biden’s re-election campaign last month.

Prior to his political career, Carper served three tours of duty in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War as a naval flight officer for five years, and served in the Naval Reserve as a mission commander. P-3 aircraft until his retirement with the rank of captain. in 1991 after 23 years of military service.

Carper’s announcement comes after Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., announced this month that he would not seek re-election in 2024, sparking a potentially crowded primary in another heavily Democratic state during the cycle. presidential.

Delaware hasn’t had a statewide Republican seat since 2018, when longtime GOP auditor Tom Wagner declined to seek reelection. Former Representative Mike Castle was the last Republican to represent the state in Congress and left office after losing a Senate bid in 2010.

Democrats, who hold a narrow majority in the Senate, face a competitive card to retain control of the chamber in the 2024 election. Democrats must defend 20 seats, not including those of three independents, including two caucuses with the party . By comparison, only 10 Republicans are up for re-election. (Senator Kyrsten Sinema, I-Arizona, has not announced whether she will run again.)

In addition to Carper and Cardin, Democratic Sens. Dianne Feinstein of California and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan have announced their intention not to seek re-election next year.

Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.