Democrat Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware announced Monday that he will not seek reelection to a fifth term in the U.S. Senate.
Carper's announcement paves the way for a wide-open contest for the seat he has held since 2001 in heavily-blue Delaware. It also ensures that his unblemished record of never having lost an election during more than four decades in politics remains intact.
"If I ran for a fifth term in the Senate and won, it would be a record 15 statewide elections," Carper, 76, noted in prepared remarks at a Wilmington news conference. He said he and his wife, Martha, began talking months ago about what the future holds for them.
“After a good deal of prayer and introspection, and more than a few heart-to-heart conversations, we’ve decided we should run through the tape over the next 20 months and finish the important work that my staff and I have begun on a wide range of fronts, many of them begun in partnership with Democrat and Republican colleagues in the Senate and in the House,” he said.
Carper is one of several incumbent senators who have announced that they will not seek reelection next year. The others are Democrats Ben Cardin of Maryland, Dianne Feinstein of California and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, and Republican Mike Braun of Indiana.
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